Turkey protests Israeli settlements, Aqsa mosque raids / PHOTO

Thousands of Turkish people protested Israeli raids into Al-Aqsa mosque as PM Erdogan called new settlement plans on the occupied lands unacceptable.

Turkey protests Israeli settlements, Aqsa mosque raids / PHOTO

World Bulletin / News Desk

Thousands of Turkish people protested Israeli raids into Al-Aqsa mosque as PM Erdogan called new settlement plans on the occupied lands unacceptable.

Organized by several NGOs, thousands came together in Istanbul's Beyazit Square after the Friday prayers for Al-Aqsa Mosque and to protest the rededication of synagogue near al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Turkish prime minister also urged Israel to give up its unilateral practice.


Turkey's Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Israel should give up its unilateral practice as soon as possible.

"Israel should refrain from steps that will change conditions in Jerusalem and hamper the peace process," Erdogan told a meeting of his Justice & Development (AK) Party in Ankara.

The "Palestinian Volunteers" included Turkish civil society oganizations such as Mazlum-Der, Ozgur-Der, IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, Human and Civilization Movement, Aqaba, Civilization Foundation, AKDAV, Research and Cultural Foundation and Wisdom Foundation.


Some protesters carried a big balloon in the shape of the Al-Aqsa mosque. Dozens of others gathered outside the Israeli Embassy in Ankara.

The protesters chanted slogans as, "Al-Aqsa is our honor", "Collaboration with Israel is a crime" and "" Down with Israel." They also urge the Turkish government to sever political ties with Israel.

A large number of elderly and children joined the demonstrators, holding the pictures of Palestinian children throwing stones.


After the speeches, thousands of protesters prayed for the occupied Palestine and Al-Aqsa Mosque. The rally ended as protesters burn Israeli flags without any incident.
Palestinians say that the synagogue, which is several hundred metres from the compound, is the first step in an Israeli plan to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque and rebuild the Jewish Temple on its ruins.

"Rooting out Palestine"

The Israeli announcement of the construction of 1,600 new settler houses led the Palestinians to call for a halt to peace talks and triggered the worst crisis in US-Israeli relations in years.


The decision of Israel to start construction of 600 new dwellings in East Jerusalem was "unacceptable", Erdogan said.

"They are in an effort to root out Palestine," Erdogan said.

Quartet of Middle East mediators also called on Israel to stop all settlement activities and denounced Israel's plan to build new housing in East Jerusalem.

The Quartet also urged Israel and the Palestinians to resume talks on final status issues with the aim of finding a settlement within the next 24 months, UN head said.

Erdogan said Israel should give up closing the path of those who wanted to go to their own places of worship.

Erdogan said Turkey was the bravest advocate of peace, stability, tolerance and dialogue in its region and the world.


"We are raising our voices against initiatives of Israel sabotaging peace and order in East Jerusalem," Erdogan also said.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat welcomed the Quartet's call, but asked also for a mechanism to make sure that Israel does effectively halt completely all settlement activity in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

The international community regards all Jewish settlement constructions on occupied Palestinian land as illegal.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Mart 2010, 16:48