14 February 2018

The Turkish Minister of Youth and Sports visited Masjid al-Aqsa last week. Osman Askin Bak also met with the father of the Palestinian heroine Ahed al-Tamimi who was detained by Israeli security forces last year.

The Turkish minister arrived in Jerusalem last Tuesday to take part in a youth conference on the Holy City.

“It is very important for us to protect, strengthen and support the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the first qiblah of Muslims,” he said.

“Our support for Palestine is very clear as the Republic of Turkey,” Bak added.

The Turkish minister told Anadolu Agency that he also delivered the Turkish people and the government’s solidarity to Ahed’s father Basim.

Bak called on Israeli authorities to release al-Tamimi: “Ahed has become a symbol with her resistance against the Israeli occupation and has won the love of Turkish youth. Ahed’s place is not prisons and courts but school desks.”

Ahed’s father said that there was international support, especially from Turkey, for Ahed.

Al-Tamimi, who is well known for her bold activism for a free Palestine, was arrested on Dec. 19, 2017 after a video spread on social media showing her purportedly hitting two Israeli security officers who had stormed her home in the occupied West Bank.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Turkish minister also visited the office of Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) in Ramallah.

SOURCE: Anadolu (with editing by masjidalaqsa.net)