Jerusalem mayor invites Turkish president to see ‘reality on the ground’

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat invited Erdogan to see the reality in Israel’s capital, which “has changed only for the better since the Turks ruled” the city. 

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat released a statement on Tuesday inviting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to visit Israel’s capital city after the Turkish president made belligerant remarks regarding Israeli policies in Jerusalem.

“I invite Erdogan to visit our city and to be amazed by the reality on the ground—a reality that has changed only for the better since the Turks ruled here,” Barkat stated.

“Unlike during the Turkish occupation, Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty is a flourishing, open and free city that allows freedom of religion and worship for all,” continued Barkat. “In recent years, record numbers of Muslims have visited the Temple Mount and held prayers, exercising their absolute freedom of religion under Israeli sovereignty.”

Barkat made his statement after Erdogan accused Israel on Monday of racist policies in Jerusalem.

“It is surprising that Erdogan, who leads a state that occupied Jerusalem for 400 years, wants to preach to us about how to manage our city,” Barkat added.

Erdogan also spoke against Israel’s “occupation” of Jerusalem.

“Every day that Jerusalem is under occupation is an insult to Muslims,” said Erdogan. “Visiting the (Temple Mount) would be the greatest support to our brothers there.”

Barkat rejected Erdogan’s assertion of an Israeli occupation of Jerusalem.

“The connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem dates back more than 3,000 years,” he noted. “In every corner of the city, we see Jewish roots — from the time of the First and Second Temples, to the Muslim period, and the Ottoman conquest.”

“Jerusalem is, and will remain, our eternal, united capital forever,” Barkat added.

By: World Israel News Staff