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Turkey calls for Islamic nations to unite against Israel

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım (The Kremlin/
May 16, 2018

Turkish Prime Minster Binali Yildirim this week called on Islamic nations to unite as one against Israel during a speech to his ruling party in parliament.

“Islamic countries should without fail review their relations with Israel,” Yildirim told officials during his speech, PressTV reported on Tuesday. “The Islamic world should move as one, with one voice, against this massacre.” Turkey’s outrage stems from the killing of Palestinians during recent protests in Gaza.

Yildirim called a summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) now scheduled for Friday.

The Prime Minister also said that following the summit, a rally would be held at the Yenikapi meeting place in Istanbul under the slogan of “Stop the Oppression” as a way to express solidarity with the Palestinians.

“This has nothing to do with party politics. This is to show solidarity, brotherhood and togetherness,” he said.

Turkey’s actions are a direct response to Monday’s protests in Gaza where dozens – some media outlets reporting at least 60 – Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces. The violence came amidst the formal inauguration of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.

Turkey had already this week recalled its ambassadors in the U.S. and Israel in wake of the Embassy inauguration and subsequent protests, and it also expelled Israel’s ambassador from Turkey. Now Turkey seeks an even greater response with a collaborative effort from Islamic nations.

Yildirim has formally accused the U.S. of sharing responsibility with Israel for the “vile massacre” along the Gaza border. Yilidren told reporters that the U.S. took its place without complaint alongside Israel in “this massacre of civilians and became a party to this crime against humanity.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also condemned the U.S. in a speech in London before his announcement regarding the recall of their ambassadors. He stated that the U.S. had lost its role as mediator in the Middle East because of the Embassy move.

Erdogan also had fierce words for Israel in a speech broadcast on Turkish state television. The Turkish president accused Israel of being a “terrorist” entity that carried out a “genocide” in killing Palestinians during the clash.

“What Israel has done is genocide,” Erdogan said. “I condemn this humanitarian drama, the genocide, from whichever side it comes, Israel or America.”

“We will continue to stand with Palestinian people with determination,” he added.

The United States’ decision to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has been the catalyst for increased tensions in the region, with many European and Middle Eastern nations condemning the choice to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel. But many U.S. officials consider the Embassy move a smart decision, including President Trump, who expressed his desire for such a change even during his candidacy for President.