Israel to Erdoğan: The days of the Ottoman Empire are over

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Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon (Photo:abc.net.)

In response to statements made by Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan that linked the problems in Palestine to the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said the days of the Ottoman Empire are over.

Erdoğan criticized Israel over the installation of metal detectors at the entrance of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem after assailants killed two Israeli police officers on July 14 and said Israel had exceeded its boundaries.

Nahshon, who criticized Erdoğan’s words for being “delusional,” “distorted” and “absurd,” said: “He would do better to deal with the problems and difficulties in his country. … The days of the Ottoman Empire are over.”

The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement that said Erdoğan is “the last person” to preach to Israel. “It would be interesting to see what Erdogan would say to the Kurds and the residents of northern Cyprus,” the statement said.

“Those who live in glass houses,” Nahshon added, “shouldn’t throw stones.”

“By relying on its backers and the weapons at its disposal, Israel is making a mistake. I call on all Muslims around the world to go on a pilgrimage to al-Aqsa, to Palestine – if they are able to – or find a way and help our brothers there if they’re unable to travel. The more we defend al-Aqsa, the fiercer the resistance will be. If Israeli soldiers are dirtying al-Aqsa with their boots, the reason is because we have failed to defend it properly. Let’s defend Palestine just as we defend Mecca and Medina,” said Erdoğan during his party’s group meeting in the Turkish Parliament on Tuesday.

Israel decided on Monday to remove metal detectors that were placed at the entrance of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem and said they would be replaced with more advanced surveillance cameras.

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