The protests against U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital continued across Turkey as thousands gathered for rallies organized by Turkish NGOs.
The pro-Jerusalem rallies were organized by the Memur-Sen and Hak-Iş trade unions, Turkey’s IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, the Anatolian Youth Association, and the Cihannüma and ÖNDER foundations in Ankara, Kocaeli, Diyarbakır, Hatay and several other cities.
“We will not be silenced until Jerusalem is liberated from Zionist occupation,” Memur-Sen Chairman Ali Yalçın said, during his opening speech of the protest at Ankara’s Anadolu Square.
“Whatever Masjid al-Haram and Masjid Nabawi mean to us, Masjid al-Aqsa is the same,” said Hak-Iş Chairman Mahmut Arslan.
IHH Chairman Bülent Yıldırım, Anatolian Youth Foundation President Salih Turhan, Cihannüma foundation Deputy Chairman Ahmet Akça and ÖNDER Foundation Chairman Halit Bekiroğlu also addressed the rally.
The uncle of Fawzi al-Juneidi, a Palestinian boy detained by the Israeli authorities last week, also attended the rally on an invitation by the organizers.
Juneidi, 16, has become a symbol of ongoing Palestinian protests against Trump’s decision on Dec. 6.
Grand National Assembly of Turkey Administrator Ahmet Gündoğdu, Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chairman Veli Ağbaba and other deputies also attended the rally.
The rally started with the national anthem, followed by a performance and recitation of the Quran.
Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem — now occupied by Israel — might eventually serve as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Trump’s decision last week triggered demonstrations around the world including in the occupied Palestinian territories, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq and other Muslim countries.