Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan Reuters

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday welcomed Israel's removal of metal detectors from the Temple Mount, but said the move was "not enough.”

Israel had installed advanced metal detectors ("magnetometers") at entrances to the Temple Mount after the July 14 Temple Mount shooting terror attack during which two Druze policemen were murdered. However, after Arab riots and negotiations with Jordan, Israel yesterday removed the detectors from the site, deciding to replace them with "smart checks.".

"Israel took the right step to remove the metal detectors to help lower tension," Erdogan said.

"But is it enough according to our wishes? No, it is not," he said at a meeting on further education in the Islamic world in Ankara.

Erdogan said Turkey "cannot tolerate" constraints placed on Muslims visiting the site during Friday prayers.

"The Israeli Government wants to destroy the Islamic character of Jerusalem with a new practice every day," Erdogan said.

The statements came after Erdogan on Tuesday had accused Israel of "attempting to take the [Al-Aqsa] Mosque from Muslim hands".

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement that his comments were "mind-blowing, false and distorted".

In response, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Huseyin Muftuoglu on Wednesday condemned Israel's "arrogant" remarks.