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Turkey urges Islamic world to review Israel ties after Gaza massacre

Turkey has condemned the shooting dead of 61 Palestinian protesters [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 15 May, 2018

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Ankara reacted with fury on Monday to the killing of 61 Palestinians in Gaza on the same day as the US moved its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
Turkey on Tuesday urged Islamic countries to review their ties with Israel and said it would call an extraordinary summit of the world's main pan-Islamic body after Israel massacred dozens of Palestinians during protests in Gaza on Monday.

Ankara has reacted with fury to the killing of at least 61 Palestinians in Gaza on the same day as the US formally moved its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv in defiance of international outrage.

"Islamic countries should without fail review their relations with Israel," Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told his ruling party in parliament.

"The Islamic world should move as one, with one voice, against this massacre," he added.

Yildirim said that Turkey had called an "extraordinary summit" of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Friday. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan currently holds the rotating chairmanship of the body.

It was not immediately clear what format the meeting would take or who might attend.

A Turkish foreign ministry official, who asked not to be named, said there was to be "a summit in Istanbul on Friday".

Yildirim said that after the summit at 3pm (12pm GMT) a giant rally would be held at the vast Yenikapi meeting area in Istanbul under the slogan of "Stop the Oppression" to express solidarity with the Palestinians.

"This has nothing to do with party politics. This is to show solidarity, brotherhood and togetherness," he said.

"The Islamic world should move as one, with one voice, against this massacre," added Yildirim.

Erdogan regards himself as a champion of the Palestinian cause and last year hosted an OIC summit in Istanbul to denounce US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The summit declared East Jerusalem - which the international community regards as annexed by Israel - "as the capital of the State of Palestine" and urged the world to follow suit.

East Jerusalem is considered occupied Palestinian territory under international law.

Turkey maintains full trade and diplomatic links with Israel after a 2016 reconciliation deal ended a dispute over the deadly storming of a Turkish ship by Israeli commandos.

Ankara on Monday said it was recalling its ambassadors to the United States and Israel for consultations in the wake of the events.

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