US has almost reduced its reputation to zero: Erdogan

By Sibel Ugurlu

ANKARA (AA) – The decision by the U.S. to move its embassy to Jerusalem holds no value as the U.S. has almost reduced its reputation to zero, Turkey’s president said late Wednesday.

In an interview with TRT World, Recep Tayyip Erdogan was asked about the recent U.S. move to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem and a controversial photo of U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman who was shown standing next to an aerial image of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa compound in which a Jewish temple was superimposed over the famous mosque.

"America has almost reduced its reputation to zero," Erdogan said. "America and Israel have taken this decision [to move the embassy to Jerusalem] which holds no value."

Recalling a UN vote on U.S. President Donald Trump’s Jerusalem decision, Erdogan said: "This shows us that these actions are not approved around the world. If you say ‘I have money, I have power, and I can intimidate all of you using that’, you can't do it. And nobody took you seriously.”

"And now you have moved your embassy there [Jerusalem]. So what? The capital city of Palestine is Jerusalem, and everyone knows that. There is no hesitation about that. Admit it or not, it doesn't matter," Erdogan said.

In December last year, the UN General Assembly voted 128-9 to reject Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Speaking about Republican People's Party (CHP) presidential candidate Muharrem Ince's claim that Turkey had not properly requested the extradition of Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) leader Fetullah Gulen to Turkey, Erdogan said Ince had to prove his claim.

"If you are honest and sincere, you need to either tell MIT [Turkish Intelligence Agency] of the person from America who has given [this information] or deliver the related documents to the Justice Ministry so that MIT has a right to reply," Erdogan said.

Erdogan also said the number of ministers in the cabinet will be drastically reduced with the new presidential system, which was 25 in the parliamentary system.

He said the "Nation's Gardens" would be created in some provinces, including Istanbul at the location of Ataturk International Airport after the new airport in the province is opened on Oct. 29.

"We will inaugurate that worldwide significant airport in Istanbul on Oct. 29. But hopefully, we will create a giant Nation's Garden in place of the current Istanbul Ataturk Airport. We want it right in the center of the city so that it can be a Nation's Garden."

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