U.S. President Donald Trump's controversial decision to move the American embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognize it as the capital of Israel has been harshly received by thousands of citizens who gathered in protests across Turkey after the Friday prayer.
People gathered in front of mosques throughout the nation, the majority in Istanbul and Ankara, to voice their contest against the Jerusalem decision. Men, women and children waved Turkish and Palestinian flags while shouting slogans against Israel and the United States.
"Jerusalem is ours," and "Jerusalem belongs to Islam," they chanted and wrote on their banners in many cities.
Protesters also gathered in front of the U.S. Consulates in Istanbul and Ankara, with posters and banners supporting the Palestinians.
The protests spread on social media, too. People took to Twitter with the hashtag "Turkey Stands Up for Jerusalem."
Turkish citizens in the southern border province of Kilis also organized a demonstration after the Friday prayer. "Israel will be brought to account," a banner read. Another banner displayed in the southeastern province of Siirt read, "Jerusalem is our red line."
Turkey's Presidency of Religious Affairs (DİB) voiced concerns regarding Trump's maneuver in its Friday khutbah – sermon given formally during Friday prayer.
"Al-Quds is our bleeding wound and unceasing pain today. Al-Quds has suffered from all kinds of attacks and ceased to be the city of peace. Guns keep firing in the city of prophets. Innocent people are being murdered," it said.
The directorate also said that those living in and around Jerusalem were exposed to inhuman practices, such as oppression, violence and isolation.
Meanwhile, Turkey is continuing its efforts to stand against Trump's decision. While President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan keeps up his phone diplomacy with leaders from around the world, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) set out plans to deal with the issue. All four parties in Parliament also signed a joint declaration following Trump's decision, condemning the recognition of Jerusalem as the Israel's capital.
Also, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is already set to gather for an extraordinary meeting on Wednesday.
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