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Turkey calls meeting of Islamic body after Palestinians killed in Gaza

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Turkey has called for an emergency OIC meeting after the mass killing of unarmed protesters in Gaza. (File photo: Turkish Presidential Press Service via AFP)

ANKARA: Turkey has called for an emergency OIC meeting, saying Ankara wants the meeting of the 57-member-state body to be held on Friday, spokesman Bekir Bozdag said.

Turkey has been one of the most vocal critics of the US move and the violence in Gaza, with the government declaring three days of mourning for those killed.
President Tayyip Erdogan described the actions of the Israeli forces as a “genocide” and Israel as a “terrorist state.”

“No matter from what side, whether from the United States or Israel, I curse this humanitarian plight, this genocide,” he said.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the United States was an accomplice in a crime against humanity.

“Unfortunately, the US has arrogantly stood by the Israeli administration which kills civilians and has partnered in this crime against humanity,” he told reporters in Ankara.
“This provocation will only worsen the problems in the region and cause a deeper mark in the Israeli-Palestinian relationship, and will make peace in the region more difficult,” Yildirim added.

He said US President Donald Trump was attempting to distract attention from domestic problems by moving the embassy, “trying to hide the fire inside by setting fires outside.”
In Istanbul around 2,000 people marched down the main Istiklal Street, carrying banners saying “Jerusalem belongs to Muslims” and “Murderer Israel, get out of Palestine.”
Erdogan promised to hold a rally in support of Palestinians in Istanbul on Friday following the OIC summit.

Earlier on Monday, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem had encouraged Israeli forces to kill dozens of Palestinian protesters.
“We curse the massacre carried out by Israeli security forces, encouraged by this step, on the Palestinians participating in peaceful demonstrations,” its statement said.