Israel-Turkey relations seem to be spiralling out of control as a war of words between the former allies entered a second day.
Turkey on Wednesday slammed Israel for criticizing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s statements concerning Israel’s actions surrounding events around the al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Further to this, it seems that the Turkish Foreign Ministry is offended Israel implied religious tolerance was absent during the Ottoman period.
More specifically in an announcement on Wednesday the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that “At the Ottoman era, communities belonging to different religions and sects lived in peaceful coexistence and enjoyed freedom of worship for centuries. In this context, Jews would be expected to know best and appreciate the unique tolerance during the Ottoman era,”
In Tuesday’ s statement Israel said that Turkey had no right to preach to Israel, since it restricted access to the holy site during its 400-year control over the city in the previous millennium.
Following Turkey’s statement on Wednesday, Israel fought back.“It’s absurd that the Turkish government, which occupies northern Cyprus, brutally represses the Kurdish minority and jails journalists, lectures Israel, the only true democracy in the region. The days of the Ottoman Empire have passed,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement, echoing Tuesday.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan attacked Israel on Tuesday for its attitude towards Muslims and Tel Aviv responded by saying that his statements are a “figment of his imagination”
The Turkish president during his party’s parliamentary group meeting stated that “By relying on its backers and the weapons at its disposal, Israel is making a mistake. I call on all Muslims around the world to go on a pilgrimage to al-Aksa, to Palestine – if they are able to – or find a way and help our brothers therein if they’re unable to travel. The more we defend al-Aksa, the fiercer the resistance will be. If Israeli soldiers are dirtying al-Aksa with their boots, the reason is we fail to defend it decently. Let’s defend Palestine just as we defend Mecca and Medina.”
Emanuel Nahson the Israeli Foreign Minister,on Tuesday, was quick to reply and stated that, “Erdogan’s statements have no basis and are a figment of his imagination. The days of the Ottoman Empire are over. The capital of Israel is Jerusalem and so it will remain … Mr. Erdogan should deal with his country’s problems.”
The Israeli Prime Minister’s office said, on Tuesday, that the last person who could lecture Israel is Erdogan. What could Erdogan say to the inhabitants of northern Cyprus or the Kurds.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry responded through its spokesman Huseyin Muftuoglu, who condemned the statements and called on Israel to respect religious freedoms.
The Israeli foreign ministry has instructed closure of the embassy in Ankara and consulates throughout Turkey as a preventive measure amid growing tension in the region over clashes at Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
The latest round of violence erupted on Tuesday as Israeli troops resorted to force in order to disperse Palestinians demonstrating against the Tel Aviv regime’s restrictive measures at the compound.
Israeli authorities installed metal detectors, turnstiles, and additional security cameras at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound following a deadly shooting attack more than a week ago. On Tuesday morning, Israeli authorities removed the metal detectors installed at the Bab al-Asbat and Bab al-Nather entrances of the al-Aqsa Mosque, but kept surveillance cameras to monitor Muslim worshipers./ΙΒΝΑ