Turkey's role in rejecting U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has been welcomed by journalists, stressing that the United Nations failed to resolve the conflict.
"There is no context for this decision or not in a meaningful relationship with international politics. This issue is not related to only one region, this is a 100-year-old wound," Bosnian journalist Mirnes Kovač said on a panel organized by the Directorate General of Press and Information on Jan. 15. He disagreed with the form of the U.N. and said newly "strong" countries like Turkey should challenge the U.N. to bring peace to the world.
Trump's announcement that the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel prompted a deluge of criticism from the international community. The decision was rejected in a historic U.N. vote. The nonbinding resolution declaring the U.S. action on Jerusalem "null and void" was approved 128-9 in a victory for Palestinians, but not as big as they had predicted. Amid Washington's threats, 35 of the 193 U.N. member states abstained and 21 were absent.
Also on the panel, Palestinian envoy Faed Mustafa said, "Jerusalem is an issue of conscience not a political one," and welcomed Ankara's efforts. He added that Jerusalem is not an ordinary city, but a holy city for the three Abrahamic religions.
Palestinians claim East Jerusalem, home to Muslim, Jewish and Christian holy sites and an area Israel captured and annexed in 1967 in the Six-Day War, as the capital of a future state. The international community has repeatedly said the status of Jerusalem should be decided in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
Journalist Francesco Borri strongly supported Turkey's reaction to Trump's decision on Jerusalem. He said, "Turkey is challenging the status quo in the world, and the world needs Turkey as a leading actor in the international game." Borri stressed Turkey's important position and the difficulty of writing about Turkey in European journals because of the invisible control over the media.
Deputy Prime Minister Hakan Çavuşoğlu said on the panel, "The most ancient city on earth should find peace now."
Russian journalist Maxim Leonardovich Shevchenk said, "The Palestinians have faced the most crucial injustice of the modern world." He also cited Turkey and Russia's common support for Palestine and explained the importance of democracy and democratic rights for Palestinians.
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