World Bulletin / News Desk
Israeli restrictions will be condemned across Turkey, particularly in Istanbul and Ankara, after Friday prayers. Protests are expected to continue Saturday.
In Turkey’s second city of Istanbul, IHH Humanitarian Aid Foundation Chairman Bulent Yildirim will hold a news meeting and read a statement prepared by 50 academics and religious scholars.
The Anatolia Youth Association's (AGD) will organize a protest after the prayer in the city.
In Ankara, a group plans to gather at the Haci Bayram Veli Mosque to protest.
Protests are planned in other provinces, including Antalya, Diyarbakir and Izmir,
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed with Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday, the growing tensions in Jerusalem between Palestinians and Israelis.
“Any restriction on Muslims entering Al-Aqsa Mosque is unacceptable,” Erdogan told his Palestinian counterpart.
Erdogan later called Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and voiced regret for the loss of life amid the friction between the two groups, according to Turkish presidential sources.
Israeli authorities closed the Al-Aqsa compound and canceled weekly Friday prayers for the first time in nearly five decades, following a shootout last week that killed three Palestinians and two Israeli policemen near the holy site in East Jerusalem.
The new security measures have led to a wave of anger among Palestinians, who called for the immediate removal of the metal detectors.
Israel has defended the controversial moves, claiming they were no different from security measures at other holy sites around the world.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the city in 1980, claiming all of Jerusalem as the Jewish state’s "eternal" capital -- a move never recognized by the international community.
Sacred to Muslims, Jews, and Christians, Jerusalem is home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which for Muslims represents the world's third holiest site after the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.