Ahead of the US embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, interviewed by CNN, called the move a “huge mistake.”
Erdogan implored the United States to reverse the decision before it was too late as the US “has nothing to gain” from it.
He repeated his claim that “east Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine” and that one day, “when a Palestinian state will be established,” a Turkish embassy will open there.
The Turkish president claimed that the move further isolates the US diplomatically and said that with its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital it stands to “lose allies.”
The interview took place shortly before US President Donald Trump declared the US withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Agreement. Erdogan criticized the decision: “you should respect an agreement that you have signed," and said he feared "new crises" would break out as a result.”
Erdogan also said the move would endanger the global economy.
"The United States might gain some certain positivity out of the withdrawal...or the rising oil prices, but many of the countries in poverty will be hit even harder and deeper," he said, calling the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran an “economic war.”
Erdogan on Gaza
In early April, Erdogan harshly criticized Israel after events in Gaza lead to the deaths of 16 Palestinians, referring to it as an “inhumane attack.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded on Twitter: “The most moral army in the world will not accept moral preaching from someone who for years has been bombing a civilian population indiscriminately. That’s apparently how Ankara marks April Fool’s Day.” Netanyahu was apparently referring to ongoing battle against the Kurds.
Speaking to AKP party members Erdogan said: “Have you heard those criticizing us for our actions in Afrin (Kurdish Syria) condemn the massacre in Gaza yesterday?” He was referring to Turkey’s war against the YPG Kurdish militants whom Turkey views as terrorists.