Erdogan to Trump: Reverse your decision

Turkish President: Trump must rescind his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital in the wake of UN vote.

Ben Ariel,

Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday asked U.S. President Donald Trump to reverse his decision recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, after the UN General Assembly rejected the move.

128 countries voted against the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in Thursday’s vote, with 35 abstaining and nine voting against.

"We welcome with great pleasure the UN General Assembly's overwhelming support... We expect the Trump administration to rescind without further delay its unfortunate decision, whose illegality has been clearly established," Erdogan said on Twitter, according to AFP.

The Turkish President had earlier called on UN member states not to be swayed by Trump's threat to cut funding for countries that backed the motion at the UN General Assembly.

"I am calling on the whole world: never sell your democratic will in return for petty dollars," he said in a televised speech in Ankara before the vote.

The measure voted upon on Thursday was sent to the General Assembly after it was vetoed by the United States at the Security Council on Monday, though all other 14 council members voted in favor.

Trump warned on Wednesday that Washington would closely watch how nations voted at the General Assembly, suggesting there could even be reprisals for countries that backed the motion which was put forward by Yemen and Turkey on behalf of Arab and Muslim countries.

Erdogan on Thursday accused Trump of making "threats".

"How do they call America? The cradle of democracy. The cradle of democracy is seeking to find will in the world that can be bought with dollars," he said.

"Mr. Trump, you cannot buy with dollars Turkey's democratic will. Our decision is clear," declared Erdogan.

Erdogan, who has been one of the most vocal critics of Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem, has upped his rhetoric against Israel in recent weeks.

He had previously warned the United States not to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, or to move the embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, saying that any change to the status quo vis-à-vis Jerusalem would constitute a “red line” for Muslims. He also threatened that his country would sever ties with Israel if Trump went through with the move.

Erdogan later accused Israel of being a “terror state”.

Israel and Turkey signed a comprehensive reconciliation deal last year, ending a six-year diplomatic standoff following a violent encounter between Israeli soldiers and Islamist radicals on a ship attempting to break through the security blockade on Gaza.

However, Erdogan has consistently attacked Israel, even after the reconciliation deal was signed.