Thousands of people across Turkey took to the streets late on Dec. 6 to protest U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Several conservative NGOs and civil society groups, including the Anatolian Youth Association (AGD) and the Turkish Youth Foundation (TUGVA), gathered in city centers to protest the move.
A demonstration, led by the AGD’s Istanbul branch, was staged at the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul, during which slogans were chanted against Trump and the U.S. and posters and banners supporting the Palestinians were waved.
The TUGVA also organized another protest at the Fatih Mosque in Istanbul, calling on Muslims to unite against the decision.
Another protest was staged in Ankara in front of the U.S. Embassy building, where a statement was read stating the Palestinian crisis was a fundamental issue of all Muslims.
Similar protests were also held in other provinces including Konya, Bursa, Antalya, Adana and Samsun.
On Dec. 6, the U.S. president announced his decision to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The announcement sparked strong condemnation from around the world including Turkey, the EU and the U.N.
Jerusalem remains at the core of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem – currently occupied by Israel – might eventually serve as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
During his election campaign last year, Trump repeatedly promised to relocate the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.