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Erdogan wades into Qatari crisis as departed for Gulf tour

Speaking to reporters at a news conference in Istanbul Atatürk Airport before heading to Saudi Arabia, Erdoğan said that the Muslim world will not remain silent amid ongoing violations at Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem.

Turkish PM condemns Israel

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım also condemned recent Israeli restrictions.

According a post on Binali Yıldırım’s official Twitter account,  Muslims’ access to Al-Aqsa “being restricted for any reason is unacceptable.”

In a series of posts, he said, “We are waiting for Israel to right  this wrong by heeding the Islamic world’s sensitivities.”

Main Opposition Party Leader: Israeli intervention is “unacceptable”

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu criticized Israel’s “intervention” at the al-Aqsa mosque, which has led to the escalation of tensions in Jerusalem.

“The right to faith and worship is the basic right of all people,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on his official Twitter account on July 23.

Kılıçdaroğlu extended condolences for those “martyred” and injured while attending worship in Palestine.

“Israeli intervention of the right to worship at al-Aqsa is unacceptable,” he said.

Erdogan wades into Qatar crisis

The Turkish president, meanwhile, also noted that his visit to the Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar, will focus on resolving the ongoing crisis.

“Nobody has any interest in prolonging this [Qatar] crisis anymore,” Erdoğan told reporters, adding that Turkey supports immediate solution of the issue.

Erdoğan’s first stop was Saudi port city of Jeddah, where he meet with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose country has deployed troops to Qatar, is the fifth high-level visitor from outside the Gulf to try to resolve the dispute since it erupted on June 5.

The top diplomats of Britain, France, Germany and the United States have all been through already, underscoring the depth of concern the crisis is causing well beyond the region.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain cut ties and transport links with Qatar in early June, accusing it of supporting extremists. Qatar strongly denies the allegation and sees the dispute as politically motivated.

The quartet insisted Qatar accept a tough 13-point list of demands to end the rift, including shutting down news outlets including Al-Jazeera, cutting ties with Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, limiting ties with Iran and expelling Turkish troops stationed in the country. Qatar refused, arguing that the demands were an effort to undermine its sovereignty.

Fellow Gulf country Kuwait has attempted to mediate the dispute, so far without success. Erdogan will meet with Kuwait’s ruler after his Saudi visit.

Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said in his first public comments on the dispute late Friday that Qatar is prepared to engage in dialogue, but that any resolution to the crisis must respect its sovereignty and that any terms cannot be dictated from outside. He also reiterated his country’s commitment to fighting terrorism.

The anti-Qatar quartet has shown little sign of backing down.


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