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December 05, 2017

The Hill Omits Turkey’s Support for Hamas

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Recep Tayyip Erdogan


A Hill dispatch about Turkey threatening to cut ties with Israel, omitted key information about Ankara’s support for Hamas, a U.S.-designated terror group committed to the Jewish state’s destruction ("Turkey: Recognizing Jerusalem as Israeli Capital Would Be 'Red Line' for Muslims," Dec. 5, 2017).

Reporter Max Greenwood noted a Dec. 5, 2017 speech by Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, before his country’s parliament. Erdogan stated that a potential decision by the U.S. to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a “red line for Muslims.” The Turkish leader added: “We could go as far as cutting diplomatic ties with Israel over the issue.”

Yet, The Hill failed to inform readers that Erdogan—the leader of Turkey’s Islamist Justice and Development Party, also known as the AKP—has been a long-time supporter of Hamas, which routinely launches terror attacks against Israel.

Erdogan’s support for Hamas is well documented.

As Politico highlighted in an Aug. 16, 2016 article: “Turkey has worked with Islamist groups and supported militant organizations in the Middle East for years, according to the German government (“German government: Turkey supports terror groups in the Middle East").”

The German foreign ministry even issued an August 2016 statement, based on information from its Federal Intelligence Service, pointing out that “as a result of the gradually Islamized domestic and foreign policy of Ankara since 2011, Turkey has become the central platform for action for Islamist groups in the Middle East.” Hamas and Egyptian and Syrian Muslim Brotherhood groups were among those listed by the German diplomatic service.

Indeed, as CAMERA has noted, Turkey has supported “humanitarian agencies” with ties to Hamas. In February 2017, a man named Muhammad Murtaja, the Gaza coordinator for the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency, was arrested by the Israeli security agency, Shin Bet. Murtaja was accused of “funneling funds earmarked for humanitarian projects to Hamas,” according to a Jerusalem Post report.

Murtaja’s employer, the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency is a government-run agency that operates on five continents. The agency is a department of the Prime Minister of Turkey and is tasked with providing development assistance to select countries and regions.

Another Turkish “charity,” the IHH, “has a record of supporting terrorist groups” and “has close relations with Turkey’s AKP government,” per a study by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.

Although relations between Ankara and Jerusalem have waxed and waned since the ascension of Erdogan and the AKP in 2003, Turkey’s support for Hamas has been a constant, according to Jonathan Schanzer, the Vice President of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington D.C.-based think tank, and a former U.S. Treasury Department terror analyst ("Turkish Organizations Under Fire for Alleged Hamas Support," FDD Policy Brief, March 22, 2017).

On several occasions, Hamas has even thanked Erdogan for his support. In a June 28, 2016 statement posted on its official website, Hamas “expressed its deep appreciation of Turkish official and popular efforts” to bolster the group’s propaganda efforts against Israel.

Such expressions of gratitude shouldn’t go unmentioned.

Posted by SD at December 5, 2017 02:24 PM

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