Turkey has carried out over 70 projects in East Jerusalem and the West Bank since 2005, Deputy Prime Minister Hakan Çavuşoğlu has said.
Speaking at an event on Jerusalem at the headquarters of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) in Ankara, Çavuşoğlu said the state development aid agency opened its Jerusalem office in 2005.
TİKA’s 71 projects in East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank include the restoration of the Dome of the Rock, also known as Qubbat al-Sakhrah, which is inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, the Al-Quds University 400-student female dormitory project, and restarting the Nabi Musa (Tomb of Moses) celebrations, which were ended by Israel’s 1967 invasion of East Jerusalem.
“This year, Turkey’s Directorate General of Foundations delivered 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid and food to Gaza. The handover of 320 houses built in Gaza was also completed last week,” Çavuşoğlu said.
He added that during the 15 years of Justice and Development Party (AKP) rule, the Overseas Turks and Relative Communities Presidency (YTB) had supported a total of 89,000 Palestinians studying in Turkey.
“If Israel doesn’t withdraw from the territories that it has invaded and return to the pre-1967 borders, there will be no peace or stability in the world,” he added, criticizing U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Last week Trump announced his Jerusalem decision despite widespread international opposition, including from Turkey, the EU, and the U.N.
Jerusalem remains at the core of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem – now occupied by Israel – might eventually serve as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Israel first occupied the Palestinian West Bank, including East Jerusalem, during the 1967 Six-Day War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as its capital – a move never recognized by the international community.
International law continues to view the West Bank and East Jerusalem as “occupied territories” and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity on the land as illegal.