Turkish footballers and fans on Saturday voiced support for Palestine after the U.S. President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Footballers of Galatasaray and Teleset Mobilya Akhisarspor teams held a banner reading “Jerusalem is our red line” as they stepped on the field at Turk Telekom stadium in Istanbul.
Galatasaray’s fans also unfurled banners which read: “If Jerusalem is not free, the world remains captive” and “Jerusalem is Qiblah, Jerusalem is Miraj,” referring to the Muslim’s first direction of prayers.
Earlier, the footballers of Adanaspor and Elazigspor also held a banner reading the same message ahead of the Turkish Football Federation’s first league game.
In southeastern Gaziantep province, the same league saw Gazisehir Gaziantep and MKE Ankaragucu players stepping on the field with the same pro-Palestine banner.
This move came a day after Turkey Football Federation requested all football clubs playing at Super League, 1st League, 2nd League and 3rd League to open Jerusalem banners while coming out on the field before the beginning of their matches this week.
On Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump announced the U.S.’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s “undivided” capital and said the U.S. Embassy would relocate from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The dramatic shift in Washington’s Jerusalem policy triggered demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq and other Muslim countries.
Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem — now occupied by Israel — might eventually serve as the capital of a future Palestinian state.