Turkish Hospitality For Arab Terrorism

In 2004, Turkish President (then Prime Minister) Recep Tayyip Erdogan labelled Israel “a terrorist state.” Two years later, he hosted Khaled Mashaal, Hamas’s leader. Alluding to Turkey’s experience with Islamist parties, including his own, coming to power through elections, Erdogan said: “The choice of the people (at the ballot box) should be respected.” Erdogan, citing Hamas’s election victory in Gaza, apparently wanted to legitimize Hamas and terrorism.

However, he deliberately overlooked a significant difference between Hamas and Turkey’s Islamist parties: Hamas specifically advocates violence, while Turkish parties operate within democratic politics.

Eight years after Mashaal’s visit to Turkey, Hamas is coordinating its efforts in the West Bank with logistical support from a command center in Istanbul — a fact that apparently annoys even the Palestinian Authority [PA], Hamas’s “governing partner” in the Palestinian territories.