Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed on Sunday that peace cannot be achieved in the region “without resolving the Palestinian issue justly.”
This came in a speech delivered by Erdogan at the opening ceremony of the “St. Ephrem” Syriac Orthodox Church in the Yeşilköy district of Istanbul.
The Turkish President highlighted the importance of the city of Jerusalem in the conscience of Muslims and Christians, and the status that the city enjoyed among the Ottomans.
He pointed to “the violations of the rights of Muslims and Christians in the city of Jerusalem that occurred after the Ottomans withdrew from the region.”
Erdogan said: “Whoever knows the history of the Middle East is aware of this fact: The Palestinian issue lies at the heart of all problems in the region, and if this issue is not resolved in a fair manner, the region will continue to yearn for peace.”
He added: “Bringing permanent peace to the Middle East can only be achieved by finding a radical solution to the Palestinian-Israeli problem.”
The Turkish President stressed the importance of adhering to the “two-state solution.”
He said: “The establishment of an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, with (East) Jerusalem as its capital, geographically integrated, has become a need that cannot be postponed.”
The Turkish President stressed the need to avoid any steps that would “escalate tension in the region and open the way for more bloodshed and exacerbate problems.”
Erdogan reiterated his country’s readiness to make every effort to stop the clashes as soon as possible and reduce tension in the Gaza Strip.
In this regard, he said: “We are determined to intensify the diplomatic efforts that we have begun in order to restore calm.”
He pointed to the “repeated violations that affected Al-Aqsa Mosque” and the reactions that Turkey repeatedly expressed regarding this, “while the world remained silent.”
According to Erdogan, various Turkish institutions have worked to ease the burden of the siege on the residents of the Gaza Strip in the recent period, saying: “Today we are moving based on the principle of ‘There is no loser from establishing a just peace’.”
According to the Turkish President, “the Palestinians and Israelis together, and the entire region, pay the bill for every delay in establishing justice.”
At dawn on Saturday, Hamas and other Palestinian factions in Gaza launched the “Al-Aqsa Flood” military operation against Israel. In response to the continuing attacks by Israeli forces and settlers against the Palestinian people, their property and holy sites, especially Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem.
On the other hand, the Israeli army announced the launch of Operation “Iron Swords,” saying in a statement that its planes “began launching raids in several areas of the Gaza Strip against targets belonging to Hamas.”
The Ministry of Health in Gaza announced that 370 Palestinians were killed and 2,200 others were injured, while the Israeli government broadcasting authority reported that at least 700 were killed and more than 2,100 others were injured in Israel.