Jerusalem was hundreds of years under the control of the Ottoman Empire before the end of World War I.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he considered Jerusalem a Turkish city because it was under Ottoman control. He said this at a meeting of parliament, reports the Times of Israel. In this city, which we had to leave in tears during the First World War, we can still see traces of Ottoman resistance. So, Jerusalem is our city, the city from us. Our first kibla [direction of prayer in Islam] al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem are symbolic mosques of our faith. In addition, this city is the holy places of Christianity and Judaism,” he said.
Erdogan also claimed that Palestinians are being oppressed. “Another crisis that our country and nation are closely watching is Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and indifferent practices that ignore Jerusalem’s privacy,” he said.
“For us, the Jerusalem issue is not an ordinary geopolitical problem. First of all, the current appearance of the Old City, which is the heart of Jerusalem, was built by Suleiman the Magnificent, with its walls, bazaar, and many buildings. Our ancestors have shown respect for centuries, highly appreciating this city,” says the Turkish leader.
He said the Palestinian people lived in Jerusalem “for thousands of years” but were occupied and their rights were violated. He then promised to “pay close attention” to the Palestinian problem.
The publication notes that the Israeli Foreign Ministry refused to comment on Erdogan’s speech.
The Ottoman Empire ruled Jerusalem from 1516 to 1917.
Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel since its foundation in 1948.
As it is known, Armenia calls Turkey a member of the newly emerged conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan and Ankara deny it.