Erdogan Says Muslims Won’t Remain Silent on Yerushalayim Crisis

ISTANBUL (AP/Hamodia) —
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. (Reuters/Umit Bektas/File)

Turkey’s president has condemned Israeli security precautions at Har Habayis saying the Islamic world would not remain silent.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed reporters Sunday in Istanbul before departing on a visit to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar.

He said: “No one can expect the Islamic world to remain unresponsive after the humiliation Muslims suffered with the restrictions at the Noble Sanctuary.”

Earlier this week, Israel installed metal detectors in response to a deadly attack by terrorists there, which killed two Israeli policemen. The metal detectors are perceived by the Palestinians as an encroachment on Muslim rights and have led to protests in the Muslim world.

Erdogan called on Israel to remove the detectors, in a phone conversation with his counterpart Pres. Reuven Rivlin on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Jewish community inside Turkey is feeling the repercussions of the crisis, with demonstrations and vandalism against battei knesses in Istanbul.

On Thursday night, dozens of demonstrators attacked the Neve Shalom synagogue in Istanbul, threw rocks at the synagogue, kicked its doors and tried to break in, according to a Ynet report on Sunday.

The events in Yerushalayim had clearly sparked the incident, as some protesters shouted, “If you do not let us enter our holy place, we will not let you enter your holy place.” Two demonstrators climbed up the building and hung signs with pictures of the Dome of the Rock.

Equally worrying was the failure of Turkish police to intervene to protect the synagogue. The police patrol car regularly assigned to it had left the area shortly before the demonstration started, and did not return to stop it. This was taken as a sign of tacit assent by Turkish authorities to the violence.

Over Shabbos, the 15th century Ahrida synagogue in Balat, Istanbul was also attacked. As in the first case, the police car also left before the demonstration began, and the demonstrators charged the synagogue, blocking entry and chanting anti-Israel slogans.

Jewish community spokesmen have called upon the Turkish prime minister and interior minister to put an end to the attacks.

On Sunday, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim condemned the attacks against the synagogues and said it was not the behavior of true Muslims.

He called on the citizens of Turkey to show self-control, to show responsibility and not to violate the right of worship of fellow citizens of the Jewish minority with whom they have coexisted for hundreds of years.

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