Sacred Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem is red line for Muslims worldwide, says Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Eid holiday message. (AA)
Turkey’s president on Sunday reiterated his country’s support for Palestine as the Muslim world celebrates Eid al Fitr, the holiday marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
“We will not allow the Palestinian lands to be offered to anyone else,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a video message on Twitter addressed to US Muslims.
“Al Quds Al-Sharif is a red line for all Muslims”
“I would like to reiterate that Al Quds Al-Sharif, the holy site of three religions and our first Kiblah, is a red line for all Muslims worldwide,” Erdogan said, referring to the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, also known by Jews as the Temple Mount, and home to the Christian Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
“It is clear that the global order has long failed to produce justice, peace, serenity and order,” he said. “Last week we witnessed that a new occupation and annexation project, which disregards Palestine’s sovereignty and international law, was put into action by Israel,” he added.
Israel has said it will to annex parts of the occupied West Bank on July 1, as agreed to between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, the head of the Blue and White party.
The plan has drawn outrage worldwide, and especially sharp condemnation in Turkey.
The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is seen as occupied territory under international law, thus making all Jewish settlements there – as well as the planned annexation – illegal.
Congratulates American Muslims
Turning to the holiday, Erdogan said: “I congratulate my American Muslim brothers and sisters’ Eid al Fitr on behalf of the citizens of the Republic of Turkey.”
“I pray to my God that these holy days may herald an era of peace, safety, and serenity for American Muslims, the entire Islamic world, and humankind,” Erdogan said.
“The [coronavirus] pandemic has shown that there are no hierarchies or privileges among any region, nation or country in the world,” he added.
“It is only through global cooperation that the problems caused by diseases, various conflicts, wars, migration, racism, Islamophobia, terrorism, and poverty that threaten humankind can be overcome,” Erdogan said.
Since first appearing in China last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 188 countries and regions.
The US, Russia, Brazil, and several European countries are currently the hardest hit in the world. The pandemic has killed nearly 343,000 people worldwide, with more than 5.34 million confirmed cases, while recoveries numbering around 2.14 million, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.
Syria and Libya
On the ongoing civil war in Syria, the Turkish president said: “As everyone is focused on the pandemic, the oppressed Syrian people continue to suffer.”
Since 2011, Syria’s civil war has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced more than 10 million, according to UN estimates.
On the conflict in Libya, he said: “The putschist [Khalifa] Haftar forces continue to attack their own people and destabilize the country and the region.”
Following the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya’s government was founded in 2015 under a UN-led political agreement.
The Libyan government, also known as the Government of National Accord (GNA), has been under attack by warlord Haftar’s armed forces since April 2019, with more than 1,000 killed in the violence.
“Blood and tears have, unfortunately, continued to be shed in the holy month of Ramadan as well across the Islamic world,” he added.
“Our brothers and sisters living in Western countries suffer from new Islamophobic, racist attacks nearly every day,
“The Covid-19 pandemic has again called into question the utility and reliability of international organizations against global threats,” he said.
“We hereby reiterate our call for fairly redesigning the global system, which we describe as ‘the world is bigger than five’,” he said, reiterating his motto on reforms to the UN Security Council, a cause he had long championed.