Ahmet Altay Cengizer, the Permanent Turkish Ambassador to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), refuted the claims of an Egyptian newspaper that Turkey voted against the decision of UNESCO’s governing body, which described Israel as the occupying power in Palestine.
In a statement to Anadolu, Cengizer said that the Egyptian newspaper which made the allegation was publishing misleading news. He added also that the news did not reflect the truth.
The Turkish Ambassador asserted that his country was not a member of UNESCO’s governing body and therefore has no right to vote on decisions taken by the governing body of the international organisation.
He also reported that: “In addition to that, Turkey has supported and will continue to support Palestine in all platforms.”
He pointed out that the discussion of the news by the Egyptian media has implications. He did not exclude the assumption that Egyptian officials might be behind the publication of such news in the media.
Cengizer noted that Egypt has supported many activities against Turkey in the UNESCO.
The Egyptian newspaper, known as The Seventh Day, alleged in its news that “Turkey, because of its trade relations with Israel, did not support the vote on the draft resolution of the UNESCO Administrative Commission on May 2, which considered Israel as an occupying power.”
The majority of UNESCO countries voted on a decision that considers East Jerusalem an occupied city and that Israel has no sovereignty over it. 22 countries voted in favour of the resolution, ten voted against while 22 abstained.
The resolution, which was widely welcomed by Palestinians, stated that “the Old City of Jerusalem is purely Palestinian and has nothing to do with the Jews, with an emphasis on the history of the city and its cultural heritage that is related to Muslims and Christians.”