Turkish presidential spokesman on Dec. 10 condemned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who reacted strongly against the United States’ decision on Jerusalem.
In a statement, İbrahim Kalın urged the Israeli state to end its “occupation” of the Palestinian territory instead of attacking Turkey and the Turkish leader.
“Those who think Jerusalem, our first Qiblah [direction of prayers], will become the capital of the occupation state by making a fait accompli, are wasting their time,” Kalın said.
“Instead of attacking our country and our leader, the Israeli authorities should end their occupation of Palestinian territories,” he said.
Kalın’s comments came after Netanyahu hit back at Erdoğan after the Turkish president described Israel as a “state that kills children.”
Erdoğan had said in a speech on Dec. 10 that Turkey will not leave Jerusalem to the conscience of a child-killing state.”
Netanyahu was swift in responding to Erdoğan during a press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron.
“I am not used to receiving lectures about morality from a leader who bombs Kurdish villagers in his native Turkey, who jails journalists, who helps Iran get around international sanctions and who helps terrorists, including in Gaza, kill innocent people. That is not the man who is going to lecture us,” Netanyahu said.
Kalın said Israel, who has ignored international laws, has occupied Palestinian territory for hundreds of years and who has systematically violated United Nations decisions, must first give its own account.
“It is not possible to take seriously the accusations and claims made by a mentality—that has murdered thousands of innocent Palestinians [and] turned the lands of Palestinians into open prisons—to suppress feelings of guilt,” said the spokesman.
“Like the rest of the world, the Republic of Turkey will continue to support the rights, the laws and the oppressed people in Palestine,” Kalın added.
On Dec. 6, U.S. President Donald Trump announced the U.S.’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s “undivided” capital and said the U.S. Embassy would relocate from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The dramatic shift in Washington’s Jerusalem policy has triggered demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq and other Muslim countries.