By Dilara Zengin
Turkish business civil society organizations on Saturday condemned the U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
"We strongly condemn this decision which does not serve any aim apart from creating new conflict areas in the Middle East and throwing the region into fire," Rifat Hisarciklioglu, the president of Turkey’s Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) said on behalf of Turkish business stakeholders.
The confederations, which represent Turkish side of the Turkey-European Union Joint Advisory Committee, hold a joint news conference in Ankara regarding the recent U.S. move.
The confederations included TOBB, Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions (TURK-IS), Turkish Confederation of Employer Associations (TISK), Confederation of Turkish Tradesmen and Craftsmen (TESK), Turkey's Union of Agriculture Chambers (TZOB), HAK-IS Trade Union Confederation (HAK-IS), Confederation of Public Servants Trade Union (MEMUR-SEN) and Turkish Public Workers' Union (Turkiye KAMU-SEN).
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump -- reversing decades of U.S. policy -- announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move Washington’s Israel embassy to the city.
The dramatic shift in Washington’s Jerusalem policy triggered demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq and other Muslim countries.
Hisarciklioglu, who spoke on behalf of all confederations, said the Trumps' announcement is against the historical status of Jerusalem and a “wrong” step.
"Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is the Muslim’s first Qibla (direction of prayers), and Jerusalem are sacred for Islamic society with a population of 1.5 billion. Thus, this decision is disrespectful and it is a clear provocation," Hisarciklioglu stated.
He noted that the U.S. decision would pave the way for demolition of Jerusalem's international status.
"The decision is a dangerous step, which would put global security into danger and disturb delicate balances and stability in the region," Hisarciklioglu remarked.
Hisarciklioglu underlined that not only Muslim but also Christian and Jewish communities should adopt a clear and joint stance towards this decision to protect humanitarian values.
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.