Erdogan condemns Israel's 'excessive force'

Turkish President says Israel uses excessive force on Temple Mount, urges the international community to take action.

Elad Benari ,

Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Reuters

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday blasted Israel over what he called its "excessive use of force" in the clashes over the Temple Mount.

Erdogan, who said he was speaking in his capacity as the current chairman of the summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, called the security measures used by Israel on the compound "unacceptable".

"I urge the international community to immediately take action to remove practices that restrict freedom of worship at Haram al-Sharif," he said.

Israel placed magnetometers (advanced metal detectors which are selective in which metals they react to) and additional security cameras around the entrances to the holy site following a terrorist attack at the compound in which two Druze police officers were murdered.

The security measures prompted an outcry from the Palestinian Authority, the Jordanian Waqf, and the Jordanian government, which demanded a return to the status quo.

Erdogan is not the only Turkish official to have criticized Israel. Last week, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister, Numan Kurtulmus, blasted Israel's two-day closure of the Temple Mount following the terror attack as a "crime against humanity."

"This decision is a crime against humanity, a crime committed against the freedom of religion. From the point of view of human rights, it's utterly unacceptable," he said, adding, "It really is an unacceptable decision, and wounding to the highest degree.”

Turkey and Israel signed a reconciliation agreement last year, six years after their relations deteriorated following the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident.

The ties between the countries remain volatile, however. In May, Erdogan spoke out angrily over legal plans in Israel to prevent the use of loudspeakers on minarets to summon Muslims for nightly prayers.




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