Mashaal in Turkey: We hope to liberate Palestine with you

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal speaks to a congress of Turkey’s ruling AKP party on Saturday, December 27, 2014. (Photo credit: Screenshot/YouTube)

On a surprise visit to Turkey Saturday, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal hailed the country’s leaders and said he hoped to “liberate Palestine and Jerusalem” with them.

During a speech to officials and supporters of the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, Mashaal congratulated the people of Turkey “for having [Prime Minister Ahmet] Davutoğlu and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan” as heads of state, adding that “a strong Turkey means a strong Palestine … Inshallah, God is with us and with you on the road to victory.”

“Inshallah we will liberate Palestine and Jerusalem again in the future,” Mashaal said.

The Hamas leader was introduced to the crowd gathered in the conservative Konya Province in central Anatolia for the annual event by Davutoglu himself. His speech was frequently interrupted by supporters shouting “down with Israel!” and “God is great!”

“A democratic, stable and developed Turkey is a source of power for all Muslims,” Mashaal went on, adding “I greet all the brave people who claim Jerusalem … Our flag is the symbol of all the oppressed in the world”…