Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan said on October 25 that he regards the Palestinian Hamas organization “not as a terrorist organization, but as a liberation group”.
Devoting almost the entire parliamentary group speach to Gaza, Erdoğan said:
“You cannot find any other country that bombs cities day and night with its warplanes, that sets buildings and streets on fire, that carries out attacks with its tanks and guns. I call out to Israel and the world: Israel! You may be an organization, the West may owe you a lot, but Türkiye owes you nothing.
“This Israel is killing children. We have seen the state of those children. We will never allow them to be torn to pieces, because we have had our share of humanity. Hamas is not a terrorist organization, it is a group of liberation and mujahideen who struggle to protect their lands and citizens.”
The president said that the perpetrators behind the massacre in Gaza are “those who give unlimited support to Israel”, and emphasized that Israel must now “understand that the way to its permanent security does not pass through continuous military operations”.
Erdoğan canceled Israel visit
Erdoğan said that Türkiye is closed to anti-Semitism and anti-Semitism, citing as an example that the Turks welcomed Jews fleeing the Inquisition in Spain 500 years ago, and that when those who support the Israeli government today leave the region, it will be the Turks who will embrace the Israeli people when necessary.
Referring to the United States directly, Erdoğan said:
“O Israel, take America or the West with you. Since America does not want to be ruled by justice, it will also lose. The whole issue is the establishment of a just world. It is time to speak out against the scoundrels who turn their backs on the hundreds of children and women who are brutally murdered every day.”
Referring to his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in New York on September 20 within the framework of normalization of relations with Israel, Erdoğan continued as follows:
“I shook this Netanyahu’s hand once. Of course we had good intentions, he abused them. We had a plan to go to Israel, but we canceled it.”
Had it not been for the developments that began with Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7, Energy Minister Alparslan Bayraktar was expected to visit Israel that week to negotiate a pipeline for the sale of natural gas to Europe.
“Humanitarian, political and military”
President Erdoğan said that Israel must realize that its permanent security lies in a two-state solution in which the rights of the state of Palestine and the state of Israel, with East Jerusalem as its capital, will be protected, as enshrined in UN resolutions.
Erdoğan emphasized that Türkiye is ready to contribute “humanitarian, political and military” to the international guarantor system to be established within this framework.
Speaking after his talks in Qatar, Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan also said that Western countries should now “exert pressure” on Israel to accept a two-state solution, rather than just suggesting it.
Erdoğan’s statement that “Hamas is not a terrorist organization but a liberation organization” was not an expected statement. It seems inevitable that this statement will have repercussions in the international arena.
Ankara had denied reports that Hamas political representatives were asked to leave the country after the October 7 attack.