Only Palestinian independence can establish peace in the Middle East, according to parliament speaker Numan Kurtulmus
Ongoing violence between Israelis and Palestinians will be inevitable in the Middle East unless a two-state solution is agreed that guarantees a free and independent State of Palestine, Dr Numan Kurtulmus, the newly-elected speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, said on Sunday.
“This turmoil in the Middle East will not end until the State of Palestine becomes completely independent,” Kurtulmus said in a speech in Istanbul, adding that any such state must be “well-established with its institutions and organizations.”
“It is now obvious that there is no other way than this two-state solution,” he said.
Kurtulmus also called for the United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 to be adhered to; in November 1967 it called for Israeli withdrawal from territories it had occupied in the Arab-Israeli War of 1967 in exchange for regional peace.
The Turkish lawmaker, who represents the ruling Justice and Development Party, has previously been known for his stern rhetoric regarding Israel, previously referring to the nation as “Zionist killers” and a “terrorist state.”
Last month, Kurtulmus met with the head of the Israeli Knesset (parliament) in Ireland, in a summit seen as an effort by the Turkish leadership to establish more normalized relations with Israel. The two countries’ leaders, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Benjamin Netanyahu, met in person for the first time in New York in September.
Hamas, which launched a violent incursion into Israel on Saturday in what is being seen as the biggest escalation of tensions in the region in decades, has frequently announced its opposition to foreign states seeking to thaw relations with Israel.
Meanwhile, Israel’s Ambassador to Türkiye, Irit Lillian, also said on Sunday that it is premature to discuss mediation efforts between Israel and Hamas amid the ongoing conflict, after hundreds of people died in what Israel has formally declared a war.
“Mediation comes at a different point of time,” Lillian said to reporters in Ankara. “Right now, we are unfortunately counting the dead, we are trying to heal the wounded, we don’t even know what is the number of citizens abducted.”
She added: “I think it just strengthens our point that Hamas should not have an office or any kind of activity, neither in Türkiye nor anywhere else in the world. There is no place for terrorists to direct or command acts from any country in the world.”
Ankara does not designate Hamas as a terrorist organization.
October 08, 2023 at 10:57PM