Turkey, Politics, World

'Turkey to continue to back Palestinian cause'

Turkish parliament head Mustafa Sentop conducts phone diplomacy with several fellow legislature heads

Emin Avundukluoglu   | 17.05.2021
'Turkey to continue to back Palestinian cause'


Turkey's parliament speaker on Monday conducted phone diplomacy with his Pakistani, Iraqi and Kazakh counterparts.

"As Turkey, we will continue henceforth to stand firmly behind our Palestinian brothers in their struggle for freedom and justice, as we have done so far," Mustafa Sentop told his Pakistani counterpart Asad Qaiser.

Sentop said Ankara was making all kinds of diplomatic efforts for Palestine, under the leadership of the country's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkey is regretfully following Israel's acts of state terrorism and crimes against humanity, he said, adding: "Now, it's necessary to tell Israel 'Stop!' and take measures [against them]," he said.

At least 200 Palestinians have been killed, including 59 children and 35 women, in Israeli attacks in Gaza since last week, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. More than 1,305 people have also been injured and dozens of buildings destroyed or damaged in the Israeli offensive.

The 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.

Qaiser, for his part, said his country would never accept Israeli killings of innocent people.

"We are very concerned about the current incidents in Palestine. For Turkey is a very powerful leader in the region, it can offer us very valuable suggestions on the Palestinian issue," he said.

In his phone call with his Iraqi counterpart Muhammad Al-Halbousi, Sentop said Turkey was closely following Israeli violations against children in Palestine.

"We regretfully follow that the Zionist Israel is practicing state terrorism ... we think we need to mobilize different international parliamentary organizations, especially the parliamentary union of the member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, in order to immediately react to the [Palestinian] issue," he said.

Al-Halbousi underlined that Palestinians should gain their rights, which they deserve.

In a later call with his Indonesian counterpart Bambang Soesatyo, Sentop said they valued Indonesia's full support to Palestinians' freedom.

He said he hoped to meet Soesatyo face-to-face in the near future, to discuss issues "concerning our countries and regions."

Soesatyo, for his part, said they condemned Israeli attacks against Palestinians.

"As the Indonesian People's Assembly, we want Israel to stop its attacks and we think that all parties will enter a cease-fire," he added.

Speaking with the head of Uzbekistan's Senate, Sentop noted that Turkey's diplomatic contacts were still continuing on the Palestine issue.

"On Israel's state terror, a great sensitivity has developed in Turkey," he said in his conversation with Tanzila Narbayeva.

Narbayeva, for her part, said they reject Israeli attacks on the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

"We, as Uzbekistan, state that these conflicts must be stopped, and we must do whatever is necessary," she said.

In his call with Kazakh counterpart Nurlan Nigmatulin, Sentop said Nur-Sultan had an exceptional place in the hearts of the Turkish nation.

"It is gratifying that our heads of state and we are determined to further develop our bilateral relations at all levels," he said.

Nigmatulin said the two countries had deep historical relations.

"Your friendship is extremely important for us. A good example," he said.

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