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Violence in Jerusalem and the Central Importance of Jerusalem

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The policies implemented by Israel in Jerusalem have caused the world to turn its eyes to Palestine once again. The reactions from different parts of the world to the events show the importance of Jerusalem in particular and the Palestinian Question in the international arena. In addition, the multi-religious and multicultural nature of Jerusalem, as well as the developments outside of international law and international political practices have once again revealed the international dimension of the issue. In this context, the relevant discourses and policies of Turkey have once again brought her function of a bridge between East and West in a region such as Asia where an initiative is aimed.

In the last days of the month of Ramadan and the Night of Qadr, which is very important for the religion of Islam, Israeli security forces attacked the Palestinians who gathered in Harem al-Sharif and many Palestinians were injured as a result of the events. Forced evacuation of Palestinian families by Israel in Sheikh Cerrah district is on the agenda and conflicts may arise between the parties.

These developments actually took place at a time when the world’s policies against Palestine were questioned. Peace talks between Israel and Palestine have stalled and tension prevails between the parties. US Former President Donald Trump has decided the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moved the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Some countries have made similar decisions. At the same time, the Trump administration shared its highly controversial “solution plan” with the world public, claiming to solve the problem in question. The plan, prepared with pure Israeli view, is not based on past negotiations and international law and is therefore rejected by Palestine. The plan, which closes the door to the return of Palestinian refugees, also has controversial content on Jerusalem. While the plan states that Jerusalem is under the sovereignty of Israel; It has also stated that East Jerusalem will also be the capital of Palestine. This “peace plan” was put into practice with the signing of the agreements on the initiation and normalization of relations between some Middle Eastern countries and Israel. The solution of the problem with the plan centered on the opposition to Iran in the Middle East; In other words, it was aimed to legitimize Israel’s presence in the region without waiting for the establishment of the Palestinian state.

There are predictions about the political future of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in domestic politics. Netanyahu is trying to carry the success of vaccinating its citizens to the diplomatic field. In Palestine, the general elections to be held after more than 10 years were postponed for Jerusalem-oriented reasons. Reactions to Mahmud Abbas, who took the decision, are on the agenda. In addition, eyes are once again turned on what is happening in Jerusalem.

This table in Jerusalem requires once again emphasizing the international dimension of the issue. Turkey’s condemnation of the events can be read in this context. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the whole of the international community as well as the Islamic countries to take action against the latest developments in Palestine, including Jerusalem, and drew attention to the central importance of Jerusalem.

The importance of Jerusalem in many different layers, Trump’s decision on Jerusalem and his “solution plan” have also shown the impact of the issue in the international arena. Therefore, Jerusalem is too important to be reduced under a single heading and it contains different subjects. Both its international dimension and Turkey’s statements reveal the central role of Jerusalem in international politics. Turkey brings to the agenda the steps that can be taken in the international arena in every example of instability in Palestine center.

The Jerusalem title can also be used in Turkey’s relations with Asian countries. The attitude towards Jerusalem and the central role of Jerusalem in Turkey’s “Asia Anew” initiative can reinforce the connection of Asian countries in the Middle East as an important move. Moreover, an end to the tension in Jerusalem may cause calls to be voiced loudly. Turkey, as the westernmost Asian and the easternmost European, can show the importance of Jerusalem in the international arena to the Asian countries within the scope of the multilateralism of its foreign policy. The international importance of Jerusalem in policies towards Asia offers the opportunity to come to the fore both in action and discourse. Besides the military dimension of security and stability, the importance of cooperation in international relations and compliance with international law is understood. The prominence of Turkey in its region will also affect its relations with Asia. The Jerusalem issue can also bring freedom of action to Turkish foreign policy, thanks to the increasing cooperation in Asia and the increasing importance of the region in the international arena.

Dr. Ceren GÜRSELER
ANKASAM Uluslararası Hukuk Danışmanı