Dec 05 2017

Turkey's Erdoğan may sever Israel ties, slams Zarrab case as coup

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation could cut diplomatic ties with Israel should the United States recognise divided Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Erdoğan, speaking to his party in parliament on Tuesday, said such a step would be a "red line for Muslims" and he would convene a meeting of the OIC within five to 10 days. The organisation would apply measures that could include severing the links, he said.

U.S. President Donald Trump has not made a decision on whether to formally recognise Jerusalem, his adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner said on Sunday. A senior administration official said last week that Trump could make the announcement on Wednesday.

Erdoğan also slammed a trial in New York against an executive of state-run Halkbank, accused of breaking U.S. sanctions on Iran, saying it amounted to a coup against the Turkish government,

The attempt to dislodge the government is being led by a group in the United States that also plans to establish a “terror corridor” in northern Syria. The group is acting against Trump's wishes, Erdoğan said.

The United States is also obstructing Turkish operations against Islamic State, Erdoğan said. Turkey is the only member of NATO that is at war with the group, he said.