Turkey, Middle East

Turkey backs Palestinian cause in international platforms

Although international system remains silence on Palestine, Turkey tries to support it, Abdullah Eren says

Nazlı Yüzbaşıoğlu, Muhammet Tarhan, İbrahim Hakkı Çetinkaya   | 21.05.2021
Turkey backs Palestinian cause in international platforms Palestinians gather for a celebration after "mutual and simultaneous" cease-fire deal between Israel and Hamas reached with Egypt mediation took effect at 2 a.m. Friday (2300GMT Thursday), ending the 11-day conflict, at Masjid al-Aqsa Compound in East Jerusalem on May 21, 2021. ( Eyad Tawil - Anadolu Agency )


Turkey is trying to support the Palestinian cause on international platforms and in the Islamic world, a senior official said Thursday as he criticized the approach of the international system on the issue.

Turkey's Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB) chairman Abdullah Eren discussed Nakba Day, or Catastrophe Day, and the recent Israeli attacks on Palestinians during an online panel.

Nakba Day marks the 1948 forced expulsion of nearly 800,000 Palestinians from their homes in historical Palestine.

Underlining that the great resistance of the Palestinian people to Israel's policies and disproportionate violence, Eren said:

"Although the international system, especially the UN, is blind and deaf to the Palestinian cause, Turkey is trying to support the cause both on the international platforms and within the Islamic world."

Eren said that YTB's greatest support to Palestine is Turkiye Scholarships.

"Today, more than 530 Palestinian students in Turkey study only with YTB's Turkiye Scholarships, and we have graduated nearly 600 students so far," he said.

The Turkiye Scholarships program, also known as Turkiye Burslari, offers a range of programs designed for each level of study, including undergraduate, graduate, research, and language education opportunities at the most prestigious universities in Turkey for international students and researchers.  

Palestinian resistance

"The people of Palestine are in a difficult situation, they are under pressure, but the spirit of resistance is fresh and strong. Today, all Palestinians have offered their resistance as one," said Turkey's Jerusalem Consul General Ahmet Riza Demirer.

Referring to the last Palestinian resistance to Israeli violence, he drew attention to the fact that there has not been such a struggle for about 20 - 30 years.

Demirer emphasized the importance of getting support from the international community and noted perhaps for the first time in world public opinion, the support for Palestine overrides "messages pumped by Jewish lobbies."  

Attacks against Jerusalem beyond Palestinian cause

Palestinian Ambassador to Ankara Faed Mustafa said attacks against Jerusalem are beyond the Palestinian cause and is an issue for the entire Islamic world.

He expressed sorrow regarding Arab states normalizing relations with Israel and said the normalization process, which would encourage Israel, is embarrassing.

“Because the legitimate rights of the Palestinians are usurped here and they remain indifferent to this act of usurpation,” he said.

He also thanked Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish people for supporting the Palestinian cause.

At least 230 Palestinians have been killed, including 65 children and 39 women, and more than 1,700 others injured in Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip since May 10, according to the Palestinian authorities.

Recent tensions that started in East Jerusalem during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan spread to Gaza as a result of Israeli assaults on worshippers in the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognized by the international community.  

*Writing by Seda Sevencan in Istabul.

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