The United States has primed a bomb in the Middle East with its decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on Dec. 7.
Yıldırım said Turkey’s stark differences with Washington, which have already strained ties between the NATO allies, meant that an overwhelming majority of the Turkish people were now unsympathetic toward the United States.
“The United States has pulled the pin on a bomb ready to blow in the region,” Yıldırım said at a conference in Ankara.
President Donald Trump on Dec. 6 reversed decades of U.S. policy by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and promising to move the U.S. Embassy there.
Following the decision, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the U.S. consulate in Istanbul. On Dec. 7, there was a heavy police presence with uniformed soldiers patrolling the roof.
“Today, more than 80 percent of our citizens are cold towards the United States and they are right to be so,” Yıldırım said, without giving a source for the figure.
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also slammed Trump’s decision on Dec. 7 while in London, where the leader was to conduct various meetings to discuss bilateral relations between Turkey and the United Kingdom.
“Trump’s statement yesterday [on Dec. 6] is a bomb with high destructive power. It is a power that prevents peace and calls for bloodshed,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
“Why are you dropping a bomb in the middle of the problem, instead of solving it to prevent the flow of more bloodshed or tears in the Middle East? Why are you enlarging the problem? Trump is trying to get rid of the U.S.’s trapped situation via this method. But this is a method that will lead to more bloodshed in the Middle East,” he said.
The Israel-Palestine conflict is a shared problem for the world, Kılıçdaroğlu said.
“This is a problem that has not been solved for years. But there have been important contributions by the United Nations and various circles towards the problem’s solution. A solution to the problem between Israel and Palestine is very important in order for peace to come to the Middle East,” he said.