Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continued to row about Jerusalem with Israel on Monday, hours after provoking its ire, saying that he was working to prevent the “judaization” of the contested city.
Meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in Istanbul late Monday, Erdogan “confirmed the necessity of unifying efforts to protect Jerusalem against attempts of Judaization,” Palestinian news agency Maan reported. He said Turkey had a “historical responsibility” to Jerusalem, as the Ottoman Empire occupied the city in the 16th century.
Earlier on Monday, Erdogan had condemned Israel as “racist and discriminatory” and called on Muslims to visit the city in greater numbers to boost the Islamic claim to the city and “support…our brothers there.” Speaking at the International Forum on al-Quds Waqf in Turkey’s largest city, he said: “Each day that Jerusalem is under occupation is an insult to us.”
Although I have no special interest in Israel, and though I am in favor of conquering nations keeping the land that they can hold, I think that the best rhetorical response to Erdogan in this case is simply to say this: “And each day that Constantinople is under occupation is an insult to us, so the moment that the Turks return Constantinople to the Greeks, then we will return East Jerusalem to the Palestinians.”
And that analogy, though not perfect, nevertheless sums up the situation quite nicely and should shut Erdogan up quite well.