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Istanbul a stronghold of support for Palestine “Jerusalem is for Islam” chants crowd

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Protesters step on an Israel flag, foreground, and US flag after a rally in solidarity with Palestinians and before an extraordinary summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in Istanbul, Turkey, Friday, May 18, 2018. (AP)
By AFP
  • Large crowds thronged the massive Yenikapi meeting area on the shores of the sea of Marmara under the slogan “Curse the oppression, support Jerusalem,” ahead of an address by Erdogan.
  • Demonstrators held Palestinian and Turkish flags and brandished slogans like “Jerusalem is our red line.”

ISTANBUL: Thousands of people on Friday massed in Istanbul for a rally called by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to show solidarity with the Palestinians and condemn Israel after its deadly shootings of Gaza protesters, an AFP correspondent said.

Large crowds thronged the massive Yenikapi meeting area on the shores of the sea of Marmara under the slogan “Curse the oppression, support Jerusalem,” ahead of an address by Erdogan.

The rally came hours ahead of an extraordinary summit meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) also called by Erdogan to denounce Israel’s actions and the moving of the U.S. embassy for Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Demonstrators held Palestinian and Turkish flags and brandished slogans like “Jerusalem is our red line.”

Some of the leaders and ministers set to attend the summit were present at the rally, including Palestinian prime minister Rami Hamdallah.

“We are calling on the world and say ‘Israel, America and Zionism, you all dragged humanity into chaos’,” said protester Levent Ayaz.

“With God’s permission, Jerusalem belongs to us and is the capital of Islam as long as this ummah (Islamic community) exists,” he added.

“There is no political view here, there is no right, there’s no left,” said fellow demonstrator Recep Kerven.

“The only reason we are here is to support our (Palestinian) brothers. That’s a message delivered to the entire world.”