Turkey says it will not attend a tourism conference in al-Quds (Jerusalem) in protest to Tel Aviv’s aggressive approach towards the Palestinians.
Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Minister Ertugrul Gunay said on Tuesday that his country has boycotted the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) gathering after Israel made the event a political issue.
"Regrettable statements have been made. We want tourism to take place, not politics," the Turkish daily Hurriyet quoted him as saying.
The OECD will hold its biannual conference on October 20-21 in West al-Quds in a district adjacent to several illegal Israeli settlements in the eastern part of the city.
Israel’s Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov had earlier said the OECD conference in al-Quds was in fact a sign of worldwide recognition of city as Israel’s capital.
The summit’s convening in al-Quds marks the second OECD biannual conference in more than six decades to be held outside of the French capital, Paris.
Britain and Spain have also announced they will not attend the OECD conference.