Prime Minister Binali Yildirim condemns recent Israeli restrictions on Muslims’ access to Al-Aqsa Mosque
Turkey’s prime minister on Sunday condemned recent Israeli restrictions on Muslims’ access to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
According a post on Binali Yildirim’s official Twitter account, Muslims’ access to Al-Aqsa “being restricted for any reason is unacceptable”.
In a series of posts, he said, “We are waiting for Israel to right this wrong by heeding the Islamic world’s sensitivities. The Jewish citizens we [Turkey] have been living together with for centuries are one of the most important elements of our social wealth. We are legacies of a civilization that takes differences as wealth regardless of religion, sect, language, or race. For this reason, we do not approve of acts against the houses of worship of our Jewish citizens, and we urge moderation among our citizens.”
“Terror is a common threat to all humanity. Terror has no religion, language, or race. We strongly condemn terror once more”, the statement added.
Anger has spilled across the West Bank since last week when Israel shut the Al-Aqsa Mosque, venerated by Muslims and Jews, who call it the Temple Mount, following a deadly shootout.
The mosque was reopened after the two-day closure, with Israel installing metal detectors and cameras at the mosque’s gates that Palestinians say aim to change the status quo -- a delicate balance of prayer and visiting rights.
Israel refused to remove the detectors, claiming the security measures are similar to procedures taken at other holy sites around the world.
Three Palestinians were killed on Friday in protests against Israeli measures around the holy site. Three Jewish settlers were also killed in an alleged Palestinian attack in a settlement in the West Bank.
The city of Jerusalem is sacred to members of all there Abrahamic faiths -- Muslims, Jews, and Christians -- and the Al-Aqsa Mosque represents the Islamic world's third-holiest site.