Erdogan: Jerusalem tensions won’t affect ties with Israel

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that Ankara’s rapprochement with Jerusalem will continue despite tensions over the Temple Mount.

Erdogan says that Turkey will continue to loudly protest Israeli actions on the Mount, revered by Muslims as the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, but that it will not have direct bearing on the countries’ diplomatic ties.

“It is clear that the way to effectively defend the Palestinian cause is to have a reasonable, consistent and balanced relationship with Israel,” he tells lawmakers in parliament, according to Hurriyet.

The speech marks a sea change from previous years in which Turkey downgraded ties with Israel to protest actions in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.

On Tuesday, Erdogan spoke to President Isaac Herzog about the violence, and afterward released a statement that expressed concern but did not blame Israel’s leadership and was free from much of the fiery rhetoric used in the past.

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