Turkey has expressed support for the unilateral Palestinian declaration of independence and has urged the international community to help Palestinians "live in peace and with dignity." Turkey joined the list of countries backing the Palestinian Authority's quest to gain UN recognition for an independent state, Today's Zaman reported in an article published on Saturday.
“Through their state building efforts, the Palestinian Authority has proven to all the skeptics that they deserve to attain their decades-long target of internationally recognized statehood, even though they continue to suffer under occupation,” Turkey's UN ambassador, Ertugrul Apakan, said on Thursday. If Palestinians prove objectively ready to move from the current observer status at the UN into full statehood, the international community “must not turn a blind eye to their just and legitimate appeal,” the English-language daily quoted Apakan as saying at a Security Council session on the Middle East. “The time has come to show solidarity with the Palestinians and help them to live in peace and dignity,” the Turkish diplomat stated.
Apakan also insisted that the needs of those who live in the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip must be urgently addressed. Palestinians have been campaigning to win UN recognition for a state that encompasses the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and illegally annexed East al-Quds (Jerusalem) -- territories Israel captured in the Six-Day War of 1967.