Istanbul(July 31, 2017): : Thousands of supporters of a conservative Turkish party rallied in Istanbul to protest measures taken by Israel in Jerusalem and show solidarity with the Palestinians.
Israel had angered Turkey by installing metal detectors and security cameras at the Haram al-Sharif holy site in Jerusalem, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, following a 14 July attack in which gunmen killed two policemen.
The move sparked Muslim protests and deadly unrest, and last week the Israeli government removed the detectors and cameras.
Under the slogan of “Israel understands a show of strength”, the rally was held at the vast Yenikapi Square by the Sea of Marmara which has been the scene of many of Erdogan’s biggest meetings.
A mass of people, waving Palestinian and Turkish flags, chanted slogans such as “Istanbul and Jerusalem are arm-in-arm”.
“I hope that when they see how many people are here, then Israel will get the message,” said protester Sadik Sen. “We want to show to our Muslim brothers there that we are behind them.”
Last year Turkey and Israel ended a rift triggered by Israel’s deadly storming in 2010 of a Gaza-bound ship that left 10 Turkish activists dead. The two sides have since embarked on a close energy cooperation to pipe Israeli gas to Turkey.