INTERNATIONAL JOURNALISTS REACT TO US DECISION ON JERUSALEM
International press members reflected their most straighforward and objective views on the US decision on Jerusalem through the Directorate General of Press and Information. Deputy PM Hakan Çavuşoğlu, Palestinian Ambassador to Ankara Faed Mustafa and Cuban Ambassador to Ankara Luis Alberto Amoros Nunez attended the panel “US Decision on Jerusalem through the Eyes of International Press Members”, which was held at the DGPI Press, Culture and Arts Center and broadcast live in 4 languages.
Delivering an opening speech at the panel, Palestinian Ambassador to Ankara Faed Mustafa indicated that the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was a betrayal of memory, saying: “We, the Palestinians, consider Jerusalem as the capital of our country eternally.”
Ambassador Mustafa noted that Jerusalem was a holy city for all heavenly religions and indicated that all the protests across the world after the US decision were very important for them and particularly thanked Turkey. He said: “All the statements made by Turkey are praiseworthy. All the cities of Turkey, all political parties, the government and the people adopted the same attitude collectively.”
Çavuşoğlu: The world has given a firm message to the US
During his speech, Deputy PM Hakan Çavuşoğlu also underlined that Jerusalem was a holy city for all three heavenly religions. Çavuşoğlu said: "The US President Trump’s decision is tremendously contradictory - one that will fan the flames in the Middle East. There is not a shadow of historical, political, geographical or social fact behind the idea of declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”
Comparing the processes of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the United Nations, Çavuşoğlu said: “The opinion that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has advocated for years has proven to be true once again under his leadership. It was recurrently proven that the world is bigger than five. The organization that claims to be representing the world has to accept this fact and change itself.”
Borri: “Justice” is the first thing that comes to my mind when Islam is referred to
Italian journalist, author and war correspondent Francesca Borri, who is also a human rights expert and made a tremendous impression with her books "Israelis and Palestinians " and "Syrian Dust", said during her speech at the panel: "Europeans can go to Jerusalem, but the Palestinians cannot. Although I had Italian passport, I was not allowed in because I look like Arabs.”
Italian journalist clearly expressed the blow dealt to press freedom and said: "Whenever we talk about these in Europe, we are told to be “balanced”. What “Balanced” means for them is if you say something about Palestinians, you also need to say something about the Israelis. If I try to establish such a balance while writing an article, it comes to mean supporting the strong side and the Western journalists are still doing so. For me, being balanced means to respect for international law."
Indicating that European governments were very afraid of the Arab Spring, Borri said: "They know what a great power they would create if all the Muslims from Tunisia to Iraq were united, and they were frightened of this. I am not a Muslim but justice is the first thing that comes to my mind when Islam is referred to.
Shevchenko: The West is committing a crime against the Islamic world
Russian journalist, anchorman and political analyst Maxim Leonardovich Shevchenko stating that the credit for the right to set up a state should be given to the Palestinian people and that it is wrong to divide the holy lands, and said, "This is, first of all, a democracy issue. The land where millions of Palestinians are born is accepted as Israeli land today, and these people cannot enter the land they were born in. The injustice done to the Palestinians in the modern world today has never been seen anywhere else. I do not understand how a country is given the right to act as is given to Israel."
Shevchenko added that the current situation is a crime the West is committing against the Islamic world, an injustice against Christians and Jews, and that he believes justice will prevail over fear in the future.
Kovac: This policy will fail
Bosnian-born journalist and political analyst Mirnes Kovac said in his speech, "The holy city of Jerusalem has been affected by the dirty political violence after the Ottoman Empire abandoned it, and the last of these dirty political games was played on December 6, when the United States announced its Jerusalem decision. This policy, hopefully, shall fail."
"Freedom of the press in Europe depends on the subject you are working on"
When asked by the DGPI Director General Mehmet Akarca, who moderated the panel, about the fact that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s "the world is bigger than five" emphasis has been verified during the voting at United Nations General Assembly, the Italian journalist Borri stated that, "As a European journalist it is a nightmare to write about Turkey. In other words freedom of press depends on the subject you are working on." Borri while emphasising the fact that world is bigger than five has already been acknowledged said that, "We, as Americans and Europeans think that the world belongs to us, but it does not. Even though we continue to sell you weapons and we are very skilled at diving you up, you are still stronger than we are and I believe the future will be yours."
Maxim Leonardovich Shevchenko said that Turkey is the leading country of the Islamic world. Shevchenko, who underlined that the system of five established by the United Nations is no longer functional today stated that, "The United Nations may be an organization for diplomatic communication. Regional leaders, such as Turkey, should be able to have a say when determining the fate of their own region. The processes which include the United States do not improve or show any progress. The Russia-Turkey-Iran platform is a big leap and promise for a great future."
Kovac from Bosnia Herzegovina said that a strengthening Turkey is causing fear in Europe, and expressed the growing the confidence in Turkey with the following words; "Great Muslim nations are pleased to see that they are finally a player in the region. Turkey's role is to be a mediator of peace in the Middle East."
Italian journalist Francesca Borri in her concluding remarks underlined the critical role assumed by Turkey and said, "You do not mention it much, but there is one issue related to Turkey that impresses me most and you should be proud of it. Economic growth is remarkable, but Turkey actually succeeded in doing something that only a few countries in the world were able to do: That is reducing inequality and injustice, and narrowing the gap between rich and poor."
The panel, which lasted about two and a half hours and was broadcasted live to the world, was attended by representatives from the embassies of Singapore, Spain, Indonesia, Tajikistan, Thailand and Saudi Arabia, a large number of members of the press and guests.