Photo Credit: Presidency of the Republic of Türkiye
Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas terrorist head Ismail Haniyeh in Ankara with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. July 26, 2023.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has canceled his planned visit to Israel against the background of the war between Israel and Gaza’s Iranian-backed Hamas terrorist organization.

“We had a project to go to Israel, but it was canceled – we will not go,” he told a gathering of his AK Party faction in parliament, condemning Israel for its “inhumane” war against Hamas terrorists who invaded more than two dozen Jewish villages on October 7 and slaughtered many of the residents.


“The West owes you a lot. But Turkey does not owe you anything,” Erdogan said in remarks aimed at Israel, adding that the terrorists are simply freedom fighters.

“Hamas is not a terrorist organization,” Erdogan insisted. “It is a group of mujahideen (holy warriors) defending their lands.”

In response, Israel’s Foreign Ministry slammed the Turkish president’s words.

“Israel wholeheartedly rejects the Turkish President’s harsh words about the terrorist organization Hamas,” said ministry spokesperson Lior Haiat.

“Hamas is a despicable terrorist organization worse than ISIS that brutally and intentionally murders babies, children, women, and the elderly, takes civilians hostage and uses its own people as human shields,” he said.

“Even the Turkish president’s attempt to defend the terrorist organization and his inciting words will not change the horrors that the whole world has seen and the unequivocal fact: Hamas = ISIS.”

The conflict began Oct. 7 with the barbaric massacre of more than a thousand civilians during a Hamas invasion of southern Israel involving some 2,500 terrorists.

The invaders broke through the border security fence and murdered more than 1,400 people – primarily civilian men, women, children, babies and the elderly — as incessant rocket fire simultaneously rained down on towns and cities across Israel. More than 8,000 rockets have been fired at Israel in the days since.

At least 222 more were abducted and dragged into Gaza, where they are being held captive by Hamas.

“Erdogan’s defense of Hamas’ atrocities is a stark reminder of who we are dealing with,” MK Dan Illouz added.

The Turkish president has not condemned the massacre, nor the barbaric atrocities perpetrated by the terrorists, which included decapitation, dismembering, torture and burning people alive.


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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.