Turkish Prime Minister To Visit Gaza


U.S. media is reporting that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that he plans to visit the Gaza Strip soon. According to a New York Times report:

JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey said on Friday that he planned to visit the Gaza Strip soon, a move that would significantly enhance the legitimacy of the Hamas-controlled Gaza government and antagonize the Palestinian Authority, Israel and the West.. Mr. Erdogan, who twice last year scheduled and then canceled visits to Gaza, did not offer specifics about the timing or agenda for such a visit, which he mentioned to reporters traveling with him to Ankara from Berlin, according to the Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman. A Foreign Ministry official later said that the prime minister was simply expressing an ‘intention,’ and that he wanted to visit ‘someday.’Mr. Erdogan’s comments came nine days after the emir of Qatar became the first head of state to set foot in Gaza since Hamas took over in 2007, pledging $400 million for development projects, including housing complexes, road renovation and a prosthetics hospital. The crown prince of Bahrain was scheduled to visit the Palestinian enclave on Thursday but canceled at the last minute to avoid political repercussions, according to reports in the Arab news media. A visit by the leader of Turkey, a huge power that is a member of NATO and a critical bridge between the West and the Islamic world, would make a much bigger diplomatic splash, paving the way for Egypt and other countries to expand direct, independent relationships with Hamas and further dividing the Palestinian leadership. Officials in the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, the Hamas rival that governs in the West Bank, had warned that the Qatari mission would set a dangerous precedent. ‘We are against all these visits,’ President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority said in an interview that was recorded before Mr. Erdogan’s comments and was broadcast on Friday night by Channel 2 News in Israel. ‘If they want to help Gaza, they should come through the authorities, through the legal authority.’ 

Read the rest here.

Last month, the NYT published an article titled “Turkey and Egypt Look to Team Up Amid Tumult” that looks at an emerging alliance between Egypt and Turkey.

Readers of a 2011report from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) would have been advised well ahead of the New York Times about the growing role of Turkey in the Global Muslim Brotherhood, including its support of Hamas.The abstract of that report states:

There is strong evidence for Turkish governmental involvement in the Gaza flotilla incident, with Turkish government support channeled through the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood network. Since 2006, Turkey has become a new center for the Global Muslim Brotherhood. 

With respect to the Global Muslim Brotherhood, report’s second conclusion states:

The Gaza flotilla incident brought into sharp focus an even more significant long- term development: the growing relationship between the Erdogan government and the Global Muslim Brotherhood, which has given rise to some of the most notorious Islamist terrorist groups – from al-Qaeda to Hamas. Since 2006, Turkey has become a new center for the Global Muslim Brotherhood, while the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip acted as the main axis for this activity.

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