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Home >> World
UPDATED: 23:50, May 02, 2005
Turkish PM says Aqsa Masque belongs to Moslems only
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Visiting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed Monday that al Aqsa Masque in East Jerusalem only belongs to the Moslems and not to anybody else.

Erdogan, who arrived in Israel on Sunday, made the statements after he visited al Aqsa Mosque and prayed there with his wife and the delegation that accompanied him.

Al Aqsa Mosque is considered for all the world's Moslems as their first shrine and their third mosque. It is located at al Haram al Sharif area, a place that Jews are calling "the Temple Mount."

Moslems, mainly Palestinians are afraid that some Jewish extremists, who believe that the Jewish temple is built under the al Aqsa Mosque, would carry out an action to demolish the mosque.

"Al Masjed (mosque) al Aqsa is belonging to the Moslems only, and one has the right to interfere into its affairs or try to administrate it," said Erdogan.

Sheikh Ekrema Sabri, Mufti of Jerusalem and the holy land, and Sheikh Mohamed Hussein, director of the mosque, received Erdogan and accompanied him in the tour of the mosque.

"We welcome Mr. Erdogan, who is a Moslem, also the Prime Minister of Turkey, who came to visit al Aqsa Mosque, the mosque of all Moslems allover the world," said Sheikh Hussein.

After the visit to the al Aqsa Mosque, Erdogan headed immediately to the West Bank town of Ramallah to meet with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei.


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