Turkey Claims Foothold in Old City
The Turkish organization TIKA, established and funded by the Turkish government, has recently put up several signs in the Old City of Jerusalem bearing the Turkish flag. The signs were hung without authorization, says Jerusalem activist Aryeh King, who has informed Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman of the matter.
TIKA is the Turkish government body responsible for regional development projects.
Two of the signs are hung along a major road with historic significance, Motti Gur Way. Motti Gur was the IDF commander who directed troops in retaking the Old City during the Six Day War. The road bearing his name leads from Jericho Way to Lions' Gate.
"That's where the order 'Go Bentzi, go!' was given as the paratroopers broke through Jordanian defenses around the Old City. From there the first paratroopers entered the Old City, from there they made it to the Temple Mount and the Kotel,” King said.
The signs flout Israeli sovereignty in the Old City, he said. King plans to file a complaint with the Jerusalem municipality and to the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.
The TIKA website states that the signs were placed alongside projects in “Palestine.” Turkey backs the Palestinian Authority's demand to include the Old City in a future PA-led Arab state.
"It seems the Turks have decided to challenge not only our right to exist in security not only within the borders of 'the state of Tel Aviv,' but also our sovereignty in Jerusalem,” King said.
"Perhaps the time has come,” he added, “for the Israeli government to start supporting tourist initiatives and social projects in Kurdistan? Perhaps the time has come for the honorable foreign minister to make some declarations regarding the Turkish occupation and widespread slaughter in Kurdistan?”