No: 198, 26 October 2009, Press Release Regarding the Tensions In and Around Haram Al-Sharif

We are deeply concerned with the tensions in and around Haram Al-Sharif which have persisted in the past month and re-escalated yesterday.

As the only OIC member country with a Consulate General in Jerusalem, Turkey has been closely following the developments since their inception. Through a press release on October 8th, we have called for drawing lessons from the sad incidents of the past and for refraining from provocative actions that would ignite the tensions.

The latest incidents that took place yesterday demonstrate that the caution necessitated by the gravity of the situation and its potential for leading to even more serious consequences is not being shown. The injuries and detentions during the incidents are increasing our concerns further.

Our Consul-General in Jerusalem has personally visited Haram Al-Sharif yesterday, observed the situation on the ground and met with the authorities. Furthermore, State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Bülent Arınç will be departing for Morocco tomorrow to participate in “The International Jerusalem Forum”, which will be held in Rabat on 28-29 October 2009.

On this occasion, we stress once again the need for taking into account of the sensitivities related to Harem Al-Sharif, which is one of the holiest places of the Muslim World, and for refraining from provocative actions.

We expect the necessary measures to be taken in order to prevent the recurrence of such incidents that would undermine the efforts to achieve peace and stability in the region and the urgent release of those taken into custody during the incidents, including the officials of the Palestinian National Authority and the personnel of the Islamic Waqf.