Turkey says Israel’s statements are absurd, baseless and accusatory

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Taha Özhan, the Turkish Parliament’s Foreign Relations Commission chairman / Ozge Elif Kizil / Anadolu Agency

The Turkish Parliament’s Foreign Relations Commission chairman, Taha Özhan, has responded to criticisms of Turkey made by Israel and said they are absurd, baseless and accusatory.

After Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon asked Turkey to deal with its own problems and forget about the Ottoman Empire days, Özhan issued a written statement that said, “The absurd, baseless and accusatory statements from Israel’s foreign ministry show the diplomatic rudeness of Israel.”

Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan first attacked Israel over the installation of metal detectors at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem after assailants killed two Israeli police officers on July 14 and said the problems in Palestine emerged after the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

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.”

Lambasting Israel for its statements, Özhan said: “The statements of an occupying state against our esteemed president, the Ottoman Empire, Turkey and Jerusalem show the distance of Israel from regional peace and happiness. Instead of accusing the Ottoman Empire, which ensured a peaceful coexistence among members of the Abrahamic religions in Jerusalem for hundreds of years, Israel should learn Ottoman peace.”

The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement which said that 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,” said the statement.

Israel decided on Monday to remove the 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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