Mass anti-Israel protests in Turkey

Thousands of supporters of radical Islamist party protest Israeli security measures on Temple Mount after measures are removed.

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Arutz Sheva Staff and AFP,

Turkey (from archives)
Turkey (from archives)
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Thousands of supporters of an Islamist Turkish party rallied in Istanbul on Sunday to protest security measures taken by Israel in Jerusalem and show solidarity with the Palestinian Arabs.

Israel had angered Turkey by installing metal detectors and security cameras at the Temple Mount following a July 14 terrorist attack in which Arab gunmen killed two Druze policemen.

The move was followed by Muslim protests and deadly unrest, and last week the Israeli government removed the detectors and cameras.

But feelings remain high in Turkey, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying the removal of the detectors was "not enough".

Sunday's protest was called by the Saadet (Felicity) Party, which sprung from the same Islamist-rooted political movement as the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Erdogan but is seen as more religiously conservative.

Under the slogan of "Israel understands a show of strength", the rally was held at the vast Yenikapi Square near the Sea of Marmara which has been the scene of many of Erdogan's biggest meetings.

However there was no sign of any senior government official at the meeting.

A mass of people, waving Palestinian Authority and Turkish flags, chanted slogans such as "Istanbul and Jerusalem are arm-in-arm".

"I hope that when they see how many people are here, then Israel will get the message," said protester Sadik Sen. "We want to show to our Muslim brothers there that we are behind them."

Improbably, Saadet's chairman Temel Karamollaoglu had also sent a letter of invitation to football star Cristiano Ronaldo. But there was also no sign of the Real Madrid and Portugal player.

Last year Turkey opened the Camlica Mosque in Istanbul, the largest Mosque in Asia Minor. An image posted online showed guests and worshipers going through metal detectors to enter the new Turkish Mosque.