The Palestinian movement Hamas came to power in Gaza through democratic elections, and constitutes an “important reality” in the region, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement released yesterday, August 25, the Hürriyet Daily News reported Wednesday.
This was the reaction of the Turkish Foreign Ministry to criticism from the United States regarding with the recent meeting of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with the Hamas delegation in Istanbul. The Palestinian movement of resistance to Israel, which controls Gaza, is recognized by the United States as a “terrorist organization”.
Ankara fully rejects Washington’s statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Branding as a “terrorist” the legitimate representative of Hamas will not contribute to efforts geared towards peace and stability in the region, noted the Ministry.
Further, the official Ankara reminded the American partners of their support for the Kurdish terrorist organizations in Turkey, Iraq and Syria, as well as of hosting the “leader of the terrorist movement” FETÖ Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, “who is the ringleader of the attempted coup d’etat in Turkey in 2016.” Gülen has been a permanent resident of the US state of Pennsylvania since 1999.
With such a “track record” of cooperation with terrorist organizations and individual elements, the United States has no right whatsoever to say anything to third countries on this subject, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.
The US Administration designated Hamas as a terrorist organization, and subsequently closed the office of Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington DC. By doing so, the U.S. Administration has severed its contact with all Palestinian authorities and the people of Palestine, thereby demonstrating the extent to which it has isolated itself from the realities of our region, stressed the Foreign Ministry.
In this regard, Ankara called upon the U.S. Administration to sincerely work towards the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the basis of international law, justice and equity by pursuing balanced policies, instead of using its power and influence in the region to serve the interests of Israel rather exclusively.
Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the Hamas political bureau, paid a visit to Turkey as the head of the Palestinian delegation last week and held talks with the Turkish leader on August 22. The meeting took place at the Vahdettin Palace in Istanbul behind closed doors.