Turkey said Monday it was deeply concerned over tension at a holy compound in Jerusalem after clashes erupted Sunday between Israeli police and Arab protesters on the site, which is sacred to both Jews and Muslims, Turkish media reported.
Israeli police stormed the site, known as Al-Haram Al-Sharif, or the Noble Sanctuary, to Muslims and as the Temple Mount to Jews, twice on Sunday and used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse Arab protesters who threw stones at them, Xinhua reported.
Turkey expected people who were arrested during Sunday's incidents to be released as soon as possible, the semi-official Anatolia news agency quoted Turkey's Foreign Ministry as saying in a statement.
At least 10 Palestinians were reported wounded and 15 were arrested in the violence, which erupted after local Muslims were urged over the weekend to defend the sanctuary from what they called a "Jewish conquest," amid rumors that some Jewish extremists were attempting to damage the place.
Measures should be taken to prevent recurrence of such incidents that could harm efforts aiming to ensure peace and stability in the region, the ministry said.
It said Sunday's incidents had indicated that relative parties were not approaching the issue seriously and sensitively.
Turkey had been closely monitoring the incidents from the outset as the only Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) member state that had a consulate general in Jerusalem, according to the statement.
Sunday's confrontation highlighted an already inflammable atmosphere around the historic site, which has the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam's third holiest place, as well as the gilded Dome of the Rock Mosque inside the compound and the Western Wall, the holiest place where Jews can pray, outside it.
Calmness returned to the compound on Monday and the site was reopened to tourists and Muslim worshippers.