Turkey’s religious body voices support for Palestinians

Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate supports Palestinians against all types of cruelty and occupation, the institution said in a written statement Thursday.

The directorate's president Ali Erbas released a statement about the latest U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The issue is not only about Palestinians and Muslims living around Al-Aqsa, but it is the common problem of all Muslims, Erbas said in the statement.

On Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump announced the relocation of the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The controversial decision created anger among Muslims and a number of demonstrations were held all around the world.

"Today, Jerusalem, the old city of humanity and the first qibla of Islam, faces an unfair attempt," Erbas said according to the statement. The qibla designates the Kaaba, which Muslims face during prayer. The Al-Aqsa mosque served as the first qibla until the 7th century.

He described the U.S. move as "reckless" and said it ignored international law.

"It is a severe blow to living together, tranquility, peace, and security."

Pointing out that the city was home to the memories of many prophets, he said Jerusalem had been "the most magnificent example of living together among differences".

"Jerusalem is not an ordinary piece of land in an ordinary country," the statement read.

The U.S. administration has been urged to reverse its decision and abide by relevant resolutions and laws.

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.

Source: Anadolu Agency