After VP Joe Biden accused Turkey of having supported many of the forces fighting Bashar al-Assad — including ISIS — that country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan angrily responded, “Turkey has never given even the smallest kind of support to any terror organization.”
That’s the punchline.
Turkey may provide Hamas with $300 million in annual aid, Turkish sources report. The aid would take place of Iranian funding, which has been significantly reduced.
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh reportedly received assurances to this effect during his recent visit to Turkey. Haniyeh was warmly received earlier this month by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and was cheered when he visited the Turkish parliament.
– Turkey may provide Hamas with $300 million in annual aid, Haaretz (January 28, 2012)
Israel Defense Forces began a campaign of retribution against Hamas targets in Gaza on Monday after troops found the murdered bodies of three teenage boys abducted last month near their settlement of Gush Etzion.
But the Hamas commander who is seen by Israel as responsible for a wave of kidnapping attempts in the West Bank is actually based in Turkey. Saleh al-Arouri, that senior Hamas operative, makes his home inside the territory of a NATO ally.
– Israel Bombs Gaza While Hamas’ Kidnapping Mastermind Sits in Turkey, The Daily Beast (July 1, 2014)
Hamas has two clear allies, according to Middle East experts: Qatar and Turkey. Both have given Hamas their public support and financial assistance estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars . . . Last year, [Hamas leader Khaled] Meshaal visited Turkey and met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for several hours.
– Hamas Still Has Some Friends Left, TIME (July 25, 2014)
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan openly supports Hamas.
“Erdogan has tried to use the cause of the Brotherhood to bolster his own Islamist credentials at home,” says Eric Trager, of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
– Which Mideast power brokers support Hamas?, CNN (August 6, 2014)
Turkey’s support for Hamas — along with Qatar — hampers Israel’s ability to isolate Hamas. The Turkish government has been rather frank and “proud” of its engagement with the organization despite all financial and political repercussions. Whether or not its support for Hamas will provide Turkey more regional influence is yet to be seen, but for now it is fair to assume expansion of Erdogan’s domestic powers would translate into further support for Hamas in the near future.
– Is Turkey Hamas’ new headquarters?, Al-Monitor (August 25, 2014)
To say that Turkey’s ties to Hamas are “separate” from its ability to support the war against ISIS, as the State Department has done, is one thing. But to claim that Turkey has not granted “even the smallest kind of support to any terror organization” is just adorable.