ANKARA Jerusalem is inviolable for Muslims, and ignoring that would have serious consequences, said Turkey’s president on Tuesday over reports that U.S. President Donald Trump could decide to recognize the city as Israel’s capital.
“Mr. Trump, Jerusalem is a red line for Muslims,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a parliamentary group meeting of his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party.
“We are imploring the U.S. once again. You cannot take this kind of step.”
Erdogan also warned that if the U.S. 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 U.S. media has said Trump is considering relocating the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and the formal recognition of the city as Israel’s capital.
Jerusalem remains at the core of the perennial Israel-Palestine conflict, as Palestinians want Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state.
On the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly promised to relocate the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.
‘We won’t watch the formation of a terrorist state’
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 U.S. with allegations of sanctions violations.”
Erdogan said that the U.S. has “a plan against Turkey.”
“We see that a terror corridor has been formed in northern Syria from east to west,” he added.
Erdogan compared the case in the U.S. of Turkish businessman Riza Sarraf with the events of December 2013, an attempt to overthrow the government in the guise of a graft probe.
“The case in the U.S. has the same aim, to realize the same intention in the international area,” said Erdogan, accusing the Fetullah Terr-orist Organization (FETO) of being behind the case.
“The claim of a plot in the indictment of the case is correct. But this plot wasn’t against the U.S. but Turkey.”
Sarraf last month accepted all the charges against him and agreed to cooperate as a witness against Mehmet Hakan Atilla, the former deputy CEO of Turkey’s Halk bank.