Erdogan Asserts Turkey's Firm Support for Hamas Leadership

Written by Henrik Rothen

Mar.09 - 2024 1:19 PM CET

Erdogan Asserts Turkey's Firm Support for Hamas Leadership.

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Turkey's President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has declared Turkey's unwavering support for the leadership of the militant group Hamas, firmly stating that no one can compel Turkey to label Hamas as a terrorist organization. Speaking in Istanbul about Israel and Hamas, Erdogan emphasized Turkey's open dialogue and strong backing for the leaders of Hamas, as reported by AFP.

The Turkish leader's remarks come amidst a backdrop of intense exchanges between Erdogan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the Gaza conflict, where both leaders have not shied away from trading severe insults. Erdogan, in a speech late December, vehemently criticized Netanyahu for the Gaza bombings, which resulted in the loss of thousands of civilian lives, drawing controversial comparisons to historical figures and accusing Netanyahu of actions not unlike those of Adolf Hitler.

"Previously they spoke poorly of Hitler. How are you different from Hitler? They make us miss Hitler. Is there anything Netanyahu is doing that is different from Hitler? No," Erdogan was quoted by Reuters. He further criticized the support Netanyahu receives from the West, particularly the USA, and condemned the use of this support in the killings in Gaza, citing a death toll of 20,000 in the region.

According to Gaza's Hamas authorities, Israel has killed over 21,000 people in the area since October 7th. Erdogan has also previously referred to Hamas as a liberation organization and accused Israel of war crimes, securing significant support in the Muslim world for his stance, as noted by AFP.

In response to Erdogan's criticism, Netanyahu has launched his own attacks, pointing to Erdogan's track record with the Kurds and his record of imprisoning journalists opposed to his regime. "Erdogan is the last one who should preach morality to us," Netanyahu stated in December, highlighting Erdogan's actions against the Kurds and his approach to press freedom.

Furthermore, Erdogan announced that the upcoming local elections in Turkey would be the last under his presidency. The 70-year-old leader, who has been in power for over two decades, founded the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Istanbul in 2001, marking a significant era in Turkish politics.

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