Last week, the public agenda in Turkey had been busy with four main topics.
First one has been the reaction on the Latvian parliament’s decision to recognize the so-called Armenian Genocide.
Second has been the meeting held in Turkish capital Ankara, between the Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Palestinian counterpart Riyad al-Maliki.
Third has been the reaction from Turkish political circles over the attacks of Israel over the East Jerusalem Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Fourth has been the anti-American sentiment that is growing in Turkey recently, according to the surveys that were conducted recently.
Reactions over the Latvian Statement of the so-called Armenian Genocide
On Thursday, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has strongly condemned the Latvian parliament’s decision to call the events of 1915 a “genocide.”
“The declaration adopted by the Latvian Parliament today, which recognizes the events of 1915 as ‘genocide’, is a null and void attempt to rewrite the history for political motives,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Rejecting the “unfortunate and unlawful” decision, it stressed that parliaments are not the places to write and judge history.
None of the conditions, defined in international law, for the use of the term genocide exist in the events of 1915, it said.
The ministry noted that the decision violates the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, as well as 2013 and 2015 rulings of the European Court of Human Rights on the issue.
Instead of serving the agenda of those who try to create enmity from history, the ministry said: “We call on the Latvian Parliament to step back on this mistake and to support the efforts aiming to establish a practice of peaceful coexistence in the region, especially among the Turkish and Armenian nations.”
Some similar statements also came from the Turkish National Defense Ministry and Speaker of the Parliament Huseyin Sentop.
About the Latvian parliament’s decision to call the events of 1915 a ‘genocide’, the Turkish National Defense Ministry said on Twitter: “We reject and do not recognize the Latvian Parliament’s decision on the genocide.”
Mustafa Sentop stressed in a statement that it is not the job of parliaments to judge historical events.
He said the decision is unlawful and serves no other purpose than distorting historical facts.
“The decisions of the European Court of Human Rights in 2013 and 2015, which are also binding for Latvia, clearly show that the Armenian claims do not have legal value and can only be a subject of historical debate,” said Sentop on Saturday.
The meeting between the Turkish-Palestinian Top Diplomats
On Friday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu called on Israel to abandon its policy of building illegal settlements in East Jerusalem, at a news conference with his Palestinian counterpart Riyad al-Maliki in the Turkish capital Ankara.
The Turkish official said Israel maintained its “occupation policy” in Eastern Jerusalem and Western Bank without a pause, and it was taking new steps to expand illegal settlements or transfer Palestinian houses to illegal settlers, which could pave the way for further destabilization in the future.
Ankara is ready to offer any support needed for elections to be held in Palestine in line with international standards, said Cavusoglu.
Stressing that Turkey would not abandon its vision of a two-state solution, Cavusoglu went on to say that the projected elections in Palestine, first in the past 15 years, but Israeli acts hampered this.
We have no doubt that the election to be held in Palestine will be conducted in a democratic and transparent manner just like it was in 2006, he said, adding the international observers had confirmed this back then.
Furthermore, Cavusoglu stressed that his country did not abandon Palestinians and their cause, and Ankara would continue to support Palestine in the future.
According to the minister, Egypt stands as an important country both in the region and for Islamic World, and Turkey’s political normalization with Egypt would correspond to bettering coordination to assist Palestine.
Maliki, for his part, said Turkey surpassed all others in its support and called on the international community to press Israel to allow for Palestinian elections to be held in East Jerusalem.
Reactions over the Attacks on East Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque
Reactions came all over Turkey, after the continuous attacks of Israeli forces over East Jerusalem, and especially the raid on Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday.
On Friday, Israeli forces killed two Palestinians and seriously injured another in the northern part of the occupied West Bank, according to the Israeli media.
Later on the same day, the Israeli police attacked Muslim worshippers inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
Some 53 Palestinians were injured in the clashes inside the Haram al-Sharif area, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.
Police attacked worshippers praying in the Masjid al-Qiblatain inside al-Aqsa with stun grenades and rubber bullets, with young Palestinians pelting Israeli soldiers with stones and glass bottles.
A protest was staged outside the Israeli Consulate in Istanbul, one day later on Saturday against Israeli attacks.
Many reactions came from both the government and the opposition parties.
President Erdogan said in a statement early Sunday “Jerusalem is the world itself. And the Muslims there are humanity itself,” on Twitter.
He said that protecting the honor and dignity of the holy city of Jerusalem was the duty of every Muslim.
“We regard every attack on places of worship, chiefly Al-Aqsa, and on Muslims, as attacks made on us,” he said. “It is the duty of every individual who calls themselves a human being, to oppose tyrants that defile Jerusalem, home to the sacred for the three religions.”
He underlined that remaining silent or not taking a significant stand against the attacks by the state of Israel “is no different than supporting them” and “is accessory to the tyranny going on Palestinian lands.”
Leader of the MHP Devlet Bahceli, has given a statement of “I condemn the Israeli government, who raided our Haram al-Sharif, and tried to hinder the freedom to practice religion of our Palestinian brothers, during the holy month of Ramadan. I send my condolences to the injured Palestinians. Jerusalem had been our first Qibla (prayer sanctuary), and it will not be surrendered.”.
Leader of the CHP Kemal Kilicdaroglu has sent a Tweet regarding the issue, with the following:
“I strongly condemn the raids of the Israeli police, to the Jema’ah (prayers) of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Our prayers are the same with our Palestinian brothers, and our hearts are united.”.
Leader of the Vatan Party, Dogu Perincek has condemned the Israeli raids on East Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque, while stressing the need for a union of the regional countries for a resistance against further imperialist aggressions. Perinçek stated the following:
“We condemn the Israeli attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque. The blood spilled on al-Aqsa is our blood, the lost souls, are our souls.
Yes, everybody is condemning the attack, but the atrocities against the Palestinian people has now reached a limit that cannot be regarded by a simple condemnation. This occupation cannot be responded, only by saying to the world, “Stop Israel”. We cannot resist the guns pointed at our country and region, with empty words.
Israel has just attacked all the humanity and entire Asia, which is at the forefront of the humanity, in Al-Aqsa. And behind the Israeli aggression, is the Biden’s USA.
The USA and Israel are threatening not only Palestine, but also the entirety of the Asian countries, especially Turkey, Russia, Iran and the People’s Republic of China, by pointing guns. The brutality in Al-Aqsa Mosque was a provocation that was directly linked to these threats.
We cannot leave the struggle against the USA and Israel only to the Palestinian people. All of Asia and humanity, and especially the West Asian countries, have to resist the threat against them. This is the right attitude that will prevent the war and save the humanity from many issues.
The joint struggle of the West Asian countries against the US-Israeli initiatives has been successful. Recently, Turkey and Azerbaijan have put an end together with Russia, to the occupation of Karabakh by Armenia.
Turkey, Iran and Iraq has defeated the US and Israeli attempts to establish a Second Israel under the name of Kurdistan.
The USA and Israel does not only confront us in Jerusalem, but also in the Eastern Mediterranean, Aegean and Northern Syria.
The best response against Israel and the USA would be to end the PKK activities, by making an agreement with Syria, by increasing our presence with Russia in the Eastern Mediterranean, and by taking solid and efficient steps for the recognition of the TRNC.
Palestine is the final frontier in West Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean. We should finally stop the empty condemnation messages, and take an action as the West Asian countries for the independence of the Palestinian state, for the liberation of the Palestinian people from the oppression and the liberation of Jerusalem.
Our government should take an action for the solidarity of all countries in the region, especially with Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt, together with the Palestinian State and its people.”.
The Rising Anti-American Sentiment in Turkey
After the genocide accusations of the US President Joe Biden, the anti-American sentiment in Turkey has risen even more, according to almost all of the respondents to the Areda Company’s research.
More than half of the respondents have also wanted the closure of American bases in Turkey.
According to the survey, Turkish people do not see the United States as “a friend and an ally”.
Around 94.5 percent of those who participated in the research conducted on April 29-30 answered “No”, to the question of “Do you believe that the USA is a friend of Turkey?”. In the survey, in which 1,835 people participated, those who see the USA as a friend stands only at 5.5 percent.
While 93.3 percent of the respondents stated that they did not see the USA as “Turkey’s strategic partner and ally”, 91 percent of them considered Biden’s statement of so-called “genocide” as an action to put diplomatic pressures on Turkey.
The majority of the people voted for the closure of American military bases in Turkey (such as the Incirlik Air Base), as a response to the American government. According to the research, 58.8 percent of the popular vote chose the handover of the military bases back to Turkey.
In another survey with the title of “The So-called Armenian Genocide”, conducted by the same Areda Company, when the participants were asked “Do you believe in the so-called Armenian genocide allegations?”, 90.2 percent of the citizens answered “I do not believe the genocide allegations” and only 9.8 percent of them answered “I believe the allegations”.