Is Turkey Funding Hamas Directly?
Dec 7, 2011 at 1:17 pm
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has agreed to provide $300 million to Hamas, in a confidential letter sent to the terrorist group's leader, according to news site International Middle East Media Center [IMEMC]. If the report proves accurate, the Turkish government would be sanctioned internationally for providing support to a globally designated terrorist organization.
The report alleges that the Turkey's Prime Minister sent Hamas' Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh a confidential letter agreeing to invite him to Ankara and to provide $300 million in funding to the terrorist group. The report claims Hamas' Political Bureau Chief, Khaled Meshaal, responded by telling Erdogan that he wanted to improve relations with Turkey. It also mentions that the donation would cover only some of Hamas' budget deficit of $540 million.
Shortly after the emergence of the report, Hamas denied to members of the Arabic press the invitation to Turkey and claims about funding. Arabic newspapers linked the story back to a Kuwaiti paper called al-Seyaasah.
Turkey has improved its relationship with Hamas in recent years. In May, Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan said it was "disrespect" to the Palestinian people to call Hamas a terrorist organization. Turkey has also conducted a diplomatic war on Israel, trying to isolate it internationally and force it to end its embargo of Gaza.