Thousands protest US move on Jerusalem in Istanbul

Published 10.12.2017 17:16
Updated 10.12.2017 22:51
emAA Photo/em
AA Photo

Thousands of people flocked Sunday to Istanbul's Yenikapı Square, protesting the U.S. move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Palestinian ambassador to Ankara Faed Mustafa was among the protestors. Speaking at the rally, Mustafa said, "Peace can never prevail without independence of Palestine, and Palestine cannot be an independent state without Jerusalem as its capital."

He went on to say Jerusalem was not the capital of Israel. "It is sacred land on the earth. Israel occupied it forcibly.

Women and men of all ages, student groups, and families came together to show solidarity with Palestinians in the rally titled "Jerusalem belongs to Islam," organized by Felicity party.

Confederation of Turkish Real Trade Unions (Hak-İş), Humanitarian relief Foundation (İHH), Confederation of Public Servants Trade Unions (Memur-Sen), Turkish Youth and Education Service Foundation (TURGEV), Association of Anatolian Businessmen (ASKON), Independent Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (MÜSİAD), the Alumni Association of Imam Hatip High Schools (ÖNDER) and Deniz Feneri relief association and other non-governmental organizations participated in the rally.

Waving the flags of Turkey and Palestine, the demonstrators chanted slogans such as "Hail to Hamas, carry on resistance" and "Thousand greetings from Istanbul to Gaza resistance."

The rally started late due to heavy rainfall.

On Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump announced the U.S.' recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's "undivided" capital and said the U.S. Embassy would relocate from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The dramatic shift in Washington's Jerusalem policy triggered demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq and other Muslim countries.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem — now occupied by Israel — might eventually serve as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

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