Protecting Jerusalem means defending humanity, peace: Turkish President Erdogan

Protecting Jerusalem means defending humanity, peace: Turkish President Erdogan

Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque facing more and more harassment, with identity of ancient city being erased by Israel step by step, says Recep Tayyip Erdogan

By Esra Tekin

ISTANBUL (AA) - As defending Jerusalem means defending humanity, peace, and respect for various faiths, Türkiye will continue this struggle with determination, the nation’s president told a group dedicated to protecting the holy city.

“Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque faces more and more harassment, with the identity of the ancient city being erased by Israel step by step,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech in Istanbul to the League of Parliamentarians for al-Quds (Jerusalem).

“My forebears served Jerusalem for 400 years; their legacy cannot be erased,” said Erdogan, hearkening back to the Ottoman era.

He added that anyone looking for “modern pharaohs need not look far, just look at those who have mercilessly killed 35,000 Palestinians in the last 203 days,” referring to Israel’s months-long offensive on the Gaza Strip.

“Netanyahu, like villains before him, has etched his name in history with shame as the butcher of Gaza,” Erdogan added.

As Palestinians in Gaza have been resisting for 203 days despite all odds, “no one can expect us to remain silent in the face of the genocide,” he declared.

“We will continue to see our Hamas brothers, who defend their homeland against occupiers, as the National Resistance of Palestine,” said the president.

Erdogan further said that Türkiye stands as the only country implementing export restrictions on Israel in 54 product groups,

He added that Türkiye is also at the forefront of aid to Gaza, as since Oct. 7, Ankara has sent nearly 50,000 tons of humanitarian aid to the strip via 13 planes and nine ships.

He also said the US’ "unconditional military and diplomatic support to Israel does not contribute to a solution but rather exacerbates the problem."

"While 35,000 people were mercilessly killed in Gaza, the approval of a $25 billion military aid package to Israel by the US Senate is the clearest indication of this," Erdogan added, referring to a new aid package passed last week for Israel.

When it comes to Israel, "values of the West including freedom, democracy, the rule of law, freedom of expression, thought, and the press have been forgotten and immediately shelved," he said.

The Turkish president also hailed the parliamentary Jerusalem league as a global voice and breath of the Palestinian cause.

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