May 15 2018

Erdoğan declares three-day mourning, calls for mass rally against Israel

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday declared three days of mourning and called for a mass demonstration in İstanbul on Friday to protest the deaths of 58 Palestinians by Israeli forces on Monday during demonstrations against the planned move of the U.S. Israeli embassy to Jerusalem,  Diken news site reported.

“On Friday afternoon we are going to have our mass gathering in Yenikapı Square. And in order to show our solidarity with our Palestinian brothers and sisters, we are going to hold rallies in Diyarbakır on Sunday. As the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), we are going to hold aid campaigns during the month of Ramadan for our brothers and sisters in Palestine,’’ Erdoğan said while attending an event with students in London during his three-day U.K. visit.

The Turkish president on Monday accused Israel of “state terror” and “genocide” after Israeli forces killed at least 58 Palestinians on the Gaza border and injured around 2700.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s in December announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, breaking decades of  U.S. neutrality on the issue, and the relocation of the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move that angered Palestinians who see Jerusalem as their capital.

“What Israel has done is a genocide. I condemn this humanitarian drama, the genocide, from whichever side it comes, Israel or America,” Erdoğan said.

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ announced that Turkey was recalling its ambassadors to the United States and Israel for consultations.