TEHRAN – Jerusalem (al-Quds) is inviolable for Muslims, and ignoring that would have serious consequences, said Turkey’s president on Tuesday over reports that US President Donald Trump could decide to recognize the city as Israel’s capital.
“Mr. Trump, Jerusalem (al-Quds) is a red line for Muslims,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a parliamentary group meeting of his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, Anadolu Agency reported.
“We are imploring the US once again. You cannot take this kind of step.”
Erdogan also warned that if the US does so, Turkey could cut off diplomatic ties with Israel.
“If you take this kind of step, we will convene an Islamic cooperation summit in Istanbul,” he added.
The US media has said Trump is considering relocating the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem (al-Quds) and the formal recognition of the city as Israel’s capital.
Jerusalem (al-Quds) remains at the core of the perennial Israel-Palestine conflict, as Palestinians want Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem (al-Quds) as the capital of a future state.
On the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly promised to relocate the US Embassy to Jerusalem (al-Quds).
‘We won’t watch the formation of a terrorist state’
Elsewhere, Erdogan said the existence of the PKK/PYD terrorist group threatens Turkey’s territorial integrity.
“We will destroy all extensions of the terrorist organization in Syria one day or another, but soon,” he said.
Erdogan added that Turkey has always worked carefully not to harm friendly powers in Syria.
“We will not watch the intent to forming a terrorist state beyond our borders with our hands and feet tied by those who want to crucify us in the US with allegations of sanctions violations.”
Erdogan said that the US has “a plan against Turkey.”
“We see that a terror corridor has been formed in northern Syria from east to west,” he added.
The PKK/PYD is the Syrian branch of the PKK terrorist network, which has waged war against Turkey for more than 30 years, killing some 40,000 people.
Turkey considers the PKK, PYD, and YPG one and the same.
While recognizing the PKK as a terrorist group, the US has treated the PKK/PYD/YPG as an ally in its anti-Daesh (also known as ISIL or ISIS) efforts, despite Turkey documenting its PKK ties.