Though Turkey’s close interest in East Jerusalem appears to be bothering some countries in the region, it is far from meeting the expectations of Palestinians and effecting changes on the ground. After Turkey signed an accord with Israel in 2016 to normalize diplomatic relations, it immediately introduced an ambitious and well-publicized drive to boost investments in the West Bank, increase tourism to East Jerusalem and lift the blockade on Gaza. There was a significant increase in visits to Jerusalem, but it was not the remedy Palestinians were seeking, and the real winner in these tours is actually Israel.
Israeli daily Haaretz reported June 1 that Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority are concerned by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s claim to be the guardian of East Jerusalem and have warned Israel. Turks are reportedly trying to buy real estate in East Jerusalem, Turkish civil society has stepped up its assistance and Turks have been seen participating in protests after Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque.