Turkey intends to open an embassy in East Jerusalem, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday, days after leading calls at a summit of Muslim leaders for the world to recognize it as the capital of Palestine.
It was not clear how Turkey would carry out the move, since Israel controls all of Jerusalem and calls the city its indivisible capital.
But Palestinians want the capital of the state they seek to be in East Jerusalem, which Israel took in the 1967 war and later annexed in a move not recognized internationally.
The Muslim nation summit was a response to President Trump’s Dec. 6 announcement that he would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. That broke with decades of American policy and with the international consensus that the city’s status must be left to Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.
Mr. Erdogan said in a speech to members of his political party that Turkey’s consulate general in Jerusalem was already represented by an ambassador. “God willing, the day is close when officially, with God’s permission, we will open our embassy there,” he said.
Jerusalem, revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike, is home to Islam’s third-holiest shrine as well as the Western Wall, which is holy to Jews — both in the eastern sector. The city has been at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades.
Foreign embassies in Israel, including Turkey’s, are located in Tel Aviv, reflecting Jerusalem’s unresolved status.