Erdogan did as he promised ahead of Trump’s decision to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and convened an emergency meeting of the OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) early this morning where the group, led by Erdogan, decided to officially recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine:
ANADOLU – Pushing back against last week’s U.S. declaration, the final communique of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Istanbul summit on Wednesday recognized East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state, urging the international community to do the same.
The communique came after Muslims leaders, including Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, gathered at an extraordinary summit of the OIC in Turkey’s commercial capital. Palestine has been an OIC member state for nearly 30 years.
The communique said it “rejects and condemns in the strongest terms the unilateral decision by the president of the United States America recognizing Jerusalem as the so-called capital of Israel, the occupying power.”
It urged the world to recognize East Jerusalem as the occupied capital of the Palestinian state and invited “all countries to recognize the state of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its occupied capital.”
The 57-member bloc also affirmed “its readiness to take the Jerusalem issue to the UN General Assembly if the UN Security Council fails to take action” against the “grave violation” of the U.S. decision.
As a side note, 56 of the 57 OIC member states are also UN member states according to Wikipedia.
“We will continue the struggle for Jerusalem, on the basis of law and legitimacy, with our international partners until the US administration retreats from its wrong decision and ends the Israeli occupation,” he said.
“We, as an organization, will never abandon an independent and sovereign Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital,” he said. “The fate of Jerusalem can not be left to a state that feeds on blood and extends its borders by killing children, civilians and women in a brutal way.”
So from here Erdogan and the OIC say they will take this issue of Jerusalem to the UN Security Council and if they fail to respond to Trump’s decision, then to the larger UN body.
From a slightly different angle, I just want to point out that there is more at play here for Erdogan than just making East Jerusalem the capital of a sovereign Palestinian state. As we all know, Erdogan is in the process of resurrecting the mortally wounded Ottoman Empire by 2023. He also wants to be Caliph. And what better way to unify the Muslim world around him than to lead on the issue of Jerusalem, as he is now doing. In fact he’s really been doing it since 2015 in his rapprochement with Israel and bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza.
But my point is that I believe Erdogan will use this and future crises over Jerusalem to not only galvanize the Muslim world around him and his neo-Ottoman Empire, but to catapult himself to the position of Caliph.
In 2014 Erdogan admitted that the borders may never look like they did under the old Ottoman Empire, but as long as their hearts and minds are connected, they can be unified. The issue of Jerusalem is the one issue that will do just that.