Turkey cozies up to Iran after Hamas praises ‘mujahideen’, seeks reconciliation on key issues

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Turkey’s rhetoric and position on the Israel-Hamas war has paved the way for closer ties with Iran, which both countries will explore as they try to resolve long-term issues.

“Division is the name of the game for the relationship between Iran and Turkey under the Islamic Republic and AKP, respectively,” said Behnam Ben Taleblu, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, to Fox News Digital.Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan is the chairman of the AKP political party.

“Although the two non-Arab Muslim powers in the Middle East have traditionally competed over who can support the Palestinian cause, the order of the Arab Middle East after the Middle East has continued to more opportunities for a NATO member and the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. their political crisis and more in Israel,” Taleblu said.

Turkey has found itself at odds with its NATO allies, most of whom have supported Israel’s right to defend itself following the Hamas terror attack on October 7, while the Turkey stood as other countries in the Middle East questioned Israel and defended the Palestinians.

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Erdogan took it a step further and defended the Hamas terrorists who carried out the attack, calling the group “mujahideen,” or freedom fighters, “defending their land.” He has also continued to push for a ceasefire, accusing the West of being “too weak” to call one – a stance that seems to be common among members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). .

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Saudi Arabia

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (5th R) poses for a family photo next to Iranian President Raisi, at the Special Joint Meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Arab League at the King Abdulaziz International Conference Center in in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on November 11, 2023. (Mustafa Kamaci/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Haiat criticized Erdogan’s rhetoric as “harsh words” about a “terrorist group,” The Times of Israel reported.

That tougher stance has brought Ankara to Tehran, forcing the two countries to explore rapprochement, or the resumption of harmonious relations. They previously tried a similar connection in 2009 after Erdogan lambasted Israeli President Shimon Peres at the Davos conference and in 2010 again after an incident with Israel, according to Al-Monitor.


“Along with Qatar, Russia, and the UN, Turkey was the main target of diplomatic initiatives from Iran after the deadly terrorist attacks that Tehran helped underwrite on October 7,” Taleblu said. the greater the blows between Turkey and Israel and the Western bloc, the more confident Tehran will feel about the superiority of its regional message.

Erdogan meets with Palestinian leaders

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L) and Hamas Political Bureau Chief Ismail Haniyeh (R) at the Presidential Center in Ankara, Turkiye on July 26 , 2023. (Mustafa Kamaci/Anadolu Group via Getty Images)

The Turkish embassy in Washington, DC did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

Turkey has played an ambiguous role in the conflict, primarily because of its membership in NATO and ties to the United States over its support for Hamas. Meanwhile, Ankara asked Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh to leave Istanbul after the October 7 attack for fear of being seen as a supporter of terrorism.

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Turkey has remained in dialogue with Haniyeh as well as Israel, Al-Monitor reported.

Erdogan addresses the Parliament

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends a meeting with members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Turkey, October 25, 2023. (Murat Cetinmuhurdar / PPO / Leaflet via Reuters)

In his speech to Turkey’s parliament last month, Erdogan also slammed Western powers for supporting Israel’s operations in the Gaza Strip, which the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry said has destroyed lives. captured more than 11,000 Palestinians.

The Biden administration has repeatedly raised doubts about these numbers, and critics have noted that the ministry does not distinguish between civilian deaths and combatants. Stephan Dujarric, a spokesman for United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, told Fox News Digital that the UN has found the ministry’s numbers “reliable” in the past.

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Dujarric admitted that the UN will only have the opportunity to confirm the numbers after the conflict ends, however, he emphasized that the number remains very high. He did not mention the lack of distinction between the deaths of civilians and combatants.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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