16-year-old Palestinian boy Fawzi al-Juneidi, who became the symbol of protests against the controversial U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel when he was dragged away blindfolded by dozens of Israeli soldiers, was welcomed when he visited the film set of popular Turkish TV series Payitaht.
The producer of Payitaht Yusuf Esenkal shared a photo of al-Juneidi with a group of actors at the series’ film set in İzmit Seka Film Plato.
“We welcomed this heroic boy at our set today,” Esenkal said on his personal Instagram account Wednesday, below the famous photo of al-Juneidi being detained by Israeli soldiers.
The Palestinian boy arrived in Turkey on Jan. 16 for a three-day visit. He is expected to meet with high school students and talk about his experience.
He will also be received by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who praised the boy’s courage.
Juneidi was released on bail by Israeli military Dec. 27 after 20 days of detention.
Turkish officials have been welcoming Palestinians who have suffered mistreatment by Israeli forces.
Trump’s announcement that the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel prompted a deluge of criticism from the international community and was rejected in a U.N. vote. Naturally, it triggered a wave of protests in Palestine. Palestinians claim east Jerusalem, home to Muslim, Jewish and Christian holy sites that Israel captured and annexed in the 1967 Six-Day War, as the capital of a future state.
Turkey, which maintains close ties both with Hamas-ruled Gaza and the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, champions the Palestinian cause against Israeli occupation and has spearheaded the initiative for a common stance against Trump’s decision on Jerusalem in the Muslim world. Thousands of Turks attended rallies for days in December to protest Washington’s move and the Israeli oppression of Palestinians.