Turkey has issued a stern warning to Israel against targeting Hamas members in Ankara. This development adds to the growing tensions between the two nations, especially considering Turkey’s support for Hamas, which it does not classify as a terrorist organization.
The Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has been vocal in rejecting the terrorist label for Hamas, even after their attack on Israel in October. Erdogan’s support for Hamas dates back to 2017, where he openly endorsed the organization and quoted its founding charter calling for Israel’s destruction.
A Turkish intelligence official has reportedly conveyed to Israeli counterparts the serious consequences that may arise if Hamas members in Ankara are targeted. This emphasizes the delicate nature of the relationship between the two countries amid the ongoing regional conflict.
As tensions escalate, Erdogan has gone further by calling for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be tried as a war criminal in international courts. This demand exacerbates the strain in the diplomatic ties between Turkey and Israel.
Reports also highlight the opulent lifestyles of top Hamas commanders, including Ismail Haniyeh and Saleh al-Arouri, who have been observed enjoying luxury in Turkey. Despite being the first Muslim nation to recognize Israel in 1949, Turkey’s relations with Israel have deteriorated in recent years, particularly under Erdogan’s leadership.
The presence of Hamas offices in Turkey, albeit undisclosed publicly, has been noted by organizations like the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD). These developments underline the complex geopolitical dynamics at play in the region.