Turkey seeks to increase its influence in East Jerusalem

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has established his role as the leader of the Arab-Islamic protest against the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. His newfound fame is clearly visible in the region, with worshipers on Temple Mount chanting his name.
Photo credit: Wisam Hashlamoun, Flash90

Since the US recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital last month, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has become the leading voice of the Arab and Islamic opposition to the move. His country even hosted a special meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), during which he called Israel a "terror state" and threatened to cut its diplomatic ties with it.

While Erdoğan's threats haven't yet been fulfilled, his new status as the leader of the protest is certainly being felt in the region. Last Friday, thousands of worshippers who gathered for the prayers on Temple Mount chanted Erdoğan's name and held up Turkish flags.

According to a report by Israel News Company, the Turkish government is also funding pro-Palestinian NGOs, whose members help local families by giving them food, blankets and electric heaters.

Maor Tzemach, who heads an Israeli group that monitors activities in East Jerusalem, said Turkey's actions are "harming the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem," adding that "a red line should be drawn."



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