Thousands mass at pro-Palestinian rally called by Erdogan

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)
Updated 18 May 2018
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Thousands mass at pro-Palestinian rally called by Erdogan

  • 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 US 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.”


Security tops agenda as Iraqi PM visits Egypt in first foreign trip

Updated 23 March 2019
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Security tops agenda as Iraqi PM visits Egypt in first foreign trip

  • After meeting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Abdul Mahdi highlighted “the importance of drying up the sources of terrorism”
  • The visit to Egypt is Abdul Mahdi’s first trip abroad since taking office in October

CAIRO: Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi sought Egypt’s support for efforts to tackle extremist militants in the region during a visit to Cairo on Saturday, his first trip abroad since taking office in October.
After meeting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Abdul Mahdi highlighted “the importance of drying up the sources of terrorism” and said “cooperation between Egypt and Iraq will be essential for this matter,” according to an official statement.
His comments came as US-backed forces said they had captured Daesh’s last shred of territory in eastern Syria at Baghouz, ending its territorial rule over a self-proclaimed caliphate straddling Syria and Iraq after years of fighting.
Though the defeat ends the group’s grip over the extremist quasi-state that it declared in 2014, it remains a threat.
Some Daesh fighters still hold out in Syria’s remote central desert and in Iraqi cities they have slipped into the shadows, staging sudden shootings or kidnappings and awaiting a chance to rise again.
The United States thinks the group’s leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, is in Iraq.
Defeating militants in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and restoring security after years of unrest has been a key promise of El-Sisi, the general-turned-president who came to power a year after the military overthrew Islamist President Mohammed Mursi in 2013.
Egypt has fought an insurgency waged by a Daesh affiliate in North Sinai since 2013. Hundreds of members of the security forces have been killed.