Turkey threatens to sever ties with Israel over US embassy move

Turkey is threatening to cut off diplomatic ties with Israel if the US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying the city is “a red line for Muslims.”

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News

Turkey’s president is threatening to cut off diplomatic ties with Israel if US President Donald Trump decides to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying the city is “a red line for Muslims.”

Jerusalem is inviolable for Muslims, and ignoring that would have serious consequences, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated Tuesday, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency reported.

“Mr. Trump, Jerusalem is a red line for Muslims. We are imploring the US once again. You cannot take this kind of step,” he stated.

Responding to the threats, Minister of Transportation Yisrael Katz stated that Israel “does not receive orders or threats from Turkey.”

“Israel is a sovereign state and Jerusalem is its capital. There is no historic move that is more just or correct than to recognize now Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish people for the past 3,000 years, as the capital of the state of Israel. The days of the Sultan and the Ottoman Empire have passed,” he stated.

Minister of Science Ofir Akunis stated that Israel’s ties to Jerusalem are stronger than those to Ankara.

Ankara has previously threatened to sever ties with Jerusalem.

Israel signed a reconciliation deal with Turkey in the summer of 2016, and Israeli officials had hoped that it would temper Erdogan’s venom towards the Jewish state and help repair ties. However, this has not happened.

In the meantime, the Organization for Islamic Cooperation issued a statement on Monday condemning an anticipated announcement by the US president, saying its 57 member states should sever ties with any country that transfers its embassy to Jerusalem or recognizes Israel’s sovereignty over the city.

Trump is expected to make an announcement on the issue during a speech at the National Defense University on Wednesday.

Trump had promised to move the US embassy to Jerusalem during his election campaign.