Photo Credit: Mohammed Al-Ostaz / Flash 90
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (L) and Turkish Prime Minister Rajab Tayyip Erdoğan (R).
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (L) and then-Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (R). (Archive: 2012)

International Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh is expected to arrive in Turkey this weekend for talks at the invitation of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who called the terrorist chief a “leader of the Palestinian struggle.”

Erdogan has long been a fervent supporter of the Hamas terrorist organization, which was spawned by the Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood.


In response to the invitation, Hamas said Wednesday in a statement, “We greatly appreciate the remarks of His Excellency the President of the Turkish Republic Erdoğan, who reaffirmed his position to continue defending the Palestinian people and their legitimate struggle for the liberation and independence of their land.”

Hamas led some 3,000 terrorists and their followers in an invasion of Israel on October 7, torturing, mutilating, raping and slaughtering 1,200 people — including burning infants and entire families alive– while abducting 253 others in addition to the thousands who were wounded in the massacre. It was the worst single-day massacre of Jews since the Holocaust.

Turkey’s top diplomat, Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, met Tuesday (April 16) in advance of the talks with the terrorist leader during a visit to Qatar’s capital city, Doha, where Haniyeh lives a life of ease and luxury together with his wife and fellow Hamas terror leader Khaled Meshaa.

Erdogan referred to Hamas as a “liberation movement” during a speech to the Turkish parliament in Ankara on Wednesday. He was cheered on by the lawmakers yelling “Death to Israel.”

“When everyone was silent, we came out and defined Hamas as a resistance organization, not as a terrorist organization … From the UN podium, I declared and showed with maps that Israel had occupied the Palestinian lands. We have always stood with our Palestinian brothers, in every way,” Erdogan said. “I will continue to make the voice of the Palestinian people heard.”

During a news conference in Ankara following a cabinet meeting this week, Erdogan blamed Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli leadership for the escalation of tensions in the Middle East.

“Israel is trying to provoke a regional conflict, and its attack on Iran’s embassy in Damascus was the last drop,” he told reporters, adding that new regional conflicts may arise as long as the “cruelty and genocide” in Gaza continues.

The “attack on Iran’s embassy” Erdogan referred to was an April 1 drone strike in Damascus that demolished a building adjacent to the Iranian Embassy — it did not touch the embassy at all — and was aimed at top Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force generals and military advisers, who were meeting with terror leaders from Iran’s Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah. The building was marked as a military headquarters; the two top generals who were assassinated were responsible for Iranian military activities in Syria and Lebanon.

Iran claimed the building was a “consulate” as well as the residence of the Iranian ambassador to Syria.

The ambassador and his family were not present and were not harmed.

Erdogan has also accused Israel of being behind attempted coups of his governments in recent decades, ranging from 1980 to 2016.

Last month, Erdogan likened Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government to Nazi Germany. It is not the first time he has called Netanyahu a Nazi, and probably won’t be the last.

“Netanyahu and his administration, with their crimes against humanity in Gaza, are writing their names next to Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin, like today’s Nazis,” Erdogan declared, accusing Netanyahu of continuing to “commit massacres against the Palestinian people” and vowing that Turkey will do “what is necessary to hold Israeli officials accountable.”

In response, Israel’s prime minister said bluntly, “Israel observes the laws of war and will not be subject to moral preaching from Erdogan, who supports murderers and rapists of the Hamas terrorist organization, denies the Armenian Genocide, massacres Kurds in his own country and cracks down on regime opponents and journalists.”


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.