TURKEY

Turkish opposition party head slams Israel on Al-Aqsa

TURKISH OPPOSITION PARTY HEAD SLAMS ISRAEL ON AL-AQSA

Israel suppresses freedom of thought and faith in Jerusalem, says MHP leader Bahceli

Turkish opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Tuesday voiced criticism over measures imposed at the Al-Aqsa compound in East Jerusalem, saying Israel violated human rights.

Speaking at a meeting of MHP lawmakers, Devlet Bahceli said Israel's governance was no different from terror. "Israel has suppressed and even suspended the freedom of thought and faith [in Jerusalem]," he said.

The MHP leader said the Muslim Turkish nation is aware of the plot being executed in Jerusalem, urging the Israeli authorities to respect sanctities of Al-Aqsa and stop violating the rights of life and property of Palestinians.

"The Zionism mentality, which has tried every dark way to do religious and ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem, will surely be embarrassed and be defeated," Bahceli said.

Anger has spilled across the West Bank since last week when Israel shut East Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque, venerated by Muslims and Jews -- who call the site Temple Mount -- following a deadly shootout.

The mosque was reopened after two days, with Israel installing metal detectors and cameras at its gates.

Three Palestinians were killed on Friday in protests against the Israeli measures around the holy site. Three Israelis were also killed in an attack in a settlement in the West Bank.

Bahceli also ruled out any attack targeting synagogues and the Jewish community in Turkey. "Any harm to our Jewish citizens or their religious preferences and beliefs is an ugliness that is incompatible with Turkey and the Turkish nation, and we can never approve it."

The city of Jerusalem is sacred to Muslims, Jews and Christians, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque represents the Islamic world's third-holiest site.

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