By Faruk Zorlu
The leader of Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on Friday slammed Israel’s recently approved "Jewish nation-state" law.
"Israel is moving step by step towards disaster, playing with fire and also regional and global balances," Devlet Bahceli wrote on Twitter.
On Thursday, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) approved the law, which describes Israel as “the nation-state of the Jewish people.”
The legislation further states that a “united Jerusalem” is the capital of Israel and that Hebrew is the country's official language, stripping Arabic of its earlier designation as an official language while recognizing its “special status.”
It was approved by a vote of 62-55 in a tumultuous assembly session in which Arab lawmakers decried what they called “Israeli racism against the Arab minority.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for his part, has hailed the legislation, describing its passage as a “defining moment for Zionism and Israel.”
Turkey has denounced the legislation for trying to strip Palestinians of their rights.
Cyprus peace operation anniversary
Bahceli also marked July 20 Peace and Freedom Day in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).
Peace and Freedom Day commemorates Turkey’s Cyprus Peace Operation -- a huge military intervention to protect Turkish Cypriots from inter-communal violence which struck the island in 1974.
In his message, Bahceli said that Cyprus is Turkish and so it will remain. "This fact will not change," he wrote on Twitter.
"Those who seek to change it will be ignored, they will be ashamed for life."
He said it would be good for the sides on the island to reach a two-state solution. "If not we will have the power and self-confidence to take matters into our own hands," Bahceli added.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island's Turks and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power.
The latest attempt to reunify the long-divided Mediterranean island ended in failure in 2017 after two years of negotiations.