Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared the intention of opening an embassy in eastern Jerusalem, recalling his tough stance toward the US decision to recognize the city as Israel's capital and to move the country's embassy there.
"God willing, the day is close when officially, with God's permission, we will open our embassy there," Erdogan said in a speech, as quoted as saying by the Hurriyet newspaper.
IOC Emergency Summit on Jerusalem
Ankara's plans to open an embassy in east Jerusalem were first announced by the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu earlier this week at the end of the session of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
Erdogan, as the current chairman of the IOC, has addressed representatives from 57 countries, gathered for an emergency summit in Istanbul, warning that the Muslim world might lose Medina and other holy sites, following the US decision to recognize the disputed city as the capital of Israel.
"If we lose Jerusalem then we won't be able to protect Medina. If we lose Medina — we will lose Mecca and Kaaba," Erdogan said, adding that Turkey will thwart the US decision by all possible legal means.
"Like a century ago, the Islamic world is facing efforts to reshape it through blood, tears, and strife between brothers," Erdogan said during an award ceremony at the summit, as cited by Anadolu news agency. People in the Islamic world must "be prepared for attacks which try to bring down Muslims from within," he said.
The IOC has declared east Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine, urging the UN Security Council to annul Trump's decision on the basis of the Palestine-drafted resolution on the issue, renouncing legal force and validity of any decisions that change the status and demographic composition of the disputed city and prompting other states to ignore actions that violate the relevant resolutions.
The UNSC is reportedly expected to consider the resolution on December 18, following the emergency session, which addressed the US unilateral move on December 8.
The conflict over borders and sovereignty between Israel and Palestine dates back to 1967 when Israel seized Jerusalem from Jordan during the Six Day War and declared the city its capital. However, the international community does not recognize this annexation, calling the dispute one of the key obstacles on the path to peace in the region.