Erdogan: 'Hey Trump! What are you doing?'

Turkish leader says US decision on Jerusalem will put region in 'ring of fire.' 'Political leaders do not stir things up, they seek peace!'


Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday lashed out at his US counterpart Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, saying it would put the region in a "ring of fire".

"Taking this type of step puts the world, especially the region, in a ring of fire," Erdogan said in a speech to supporters at Ankara airport before heading on a visit to Greece.

"Hey Trump! What do you want to do?" he said, addressing the US leader directly in one of Erdogan's most familiar rhetorical habits.

"What kind of approach is this? Political leaders do not stir things up, they seek to make peace!" he added.

There were chants of "damn Israel!" and boos from Erdogan supporters gathered at the airport when the president first mentioned the US move.

Erdogan accused Trump of trying to be an agitator and said the decision "completely disregarded" the 1980 UN resolution on Jerusalem’s status.

Turkey will hold a leaders' summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Wednesday in Istanbul to discuss Trump's decision.

Turkey currently holds the chairmanship of the OIC.

Erdogan said work continued for other events planned for after this summit but he did not give further detail.

Around 1,500 people gathered outside the US consulate in Istanbul on Wednesday night to protest against Trump, chanting slogans such as "down with America!".

Erdogan said he was due to speak with Pope Francis on Thursday evening or on Friday, as well as with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Western allies including Germany.

"This is now not just the duty of Muslims, but also of humanity" to oppose the move, Erdogan added.

He hit back at Trump saying that being strong did not mean that you were automatically right but that "the righteous are the strong".