From Hurriyet Daily News in Ankara (emphasis added):
“They [Hamas] won the election. You are always talking about democracy. You’ll never let Hamas rule. What kind of democracy is this?” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Friday at a rally held in Konya, a central Anatolian province. He addressed thousands of people gathered at the rally with very strong anti-Israel sentiments.
“I do not think that Hamas is a terrorist organization. I said the same thing to the United States. I am still of the same opinion. They are Palestinians in resistance, fighting for their own land,” he stated. Hamas is recognized as a terrorist organization by the U.S.
Criticizing the Turkish media for its critical coverage on Turkey’s pro-Hamas stance, Erdoğan said, “These columnists will report my words of today as well. We know their past, their background.”
It is a sad day when the Turkish prime minister openly claims that Hamas, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood and an organization that is at the forefront of using suicide bombers against civilian targets, is not a “terrorist organization.”
The flotilla that left Turkey was a pro-Hamas operation designed to destroy Israel’s blockade. It masqueraded as a humanitarian endeavor. It was an operation conceived by the Muslim Brotherhood to benefit their brothers in Gaza. And Erdoğan and much of the global press are just fine with that.
Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.