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Some Equate Between Hamas and ‘Israel,’ What Is the Stance of Turkish Political Parties Toward the Resistance in Gaza?

2023/11/28 20:11:00 | Reports
Palestine is a state seeking its rights for a long time.
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The Turkish reactions to Operation al-Aqsa Storm and the subsequent Israeli aggression have shown a clear divergence in the positions of the government and various political parties on these developments, which have become a focal point of global attention.

After the Israeli Occupation responded violently to the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) operation in the border settlements on October 7, various Turkish political, diplomatic, and party responses followed. Since the Hamas operation was launched, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government declared its commitment to stand by Palestinian resistance.


Government Coalition

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan commented on the Israeli massacres, stating, “What is Israel doing? They are killing children. We have seen the condition of these children; we have seen what they have done. We can never allow the killing of these.”

In another statement, the Turkish president called for holding “Israel” accountable for its actions in Gaza, criticizing European countries that “remain silent in the face of what is happening in Gaza.” He also emphasized that Israeli Occupation’s continued massacres in Gaza and the West Bank would brand it as a terrorist state in the eyes of everyone, noting that Hamas is a resistance movement seeking to protect its homeland and the lives of Palestinians.

In a statement, the spokesperson for the ruling AKP, Omer Celik, affirmed that countries constantly talking about “Israel’s right to self-defense” do not mention the “right to life” for women and children in Gaza.

He argued that targeting the population en masse is a crime against humanity, emphasizing that the concept of collective punishment for the people of Gaza constitutes a crime.

Celik added, “Any ground operation against Gaza is a stain on humanity and will lead to a disaster, killing thousands of innocent children and women.”

While opposing this in the world in the name of humanity and law, some focus on power equations in the region, making innocent women and children victims of their dirty power, he described.

The AKP has consistently expressed its support for Palestinian resistance and criticized the opposition parties’ positions on Palestine.

Turning to the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), a government partner, its leader Devlet Bahceli stated, “Israel must return to its consciousness and not trust the Americans.” He also proposed the formation of a political union among Israeli neighboring countries to ensure peace in the region.

In his social media message regarding the Israeli–Palestinian situation, Bahceli said, “If a ceasefire is not reached within 24 hours from today and the attacks do not stop, and if bombs continue to be dropped on the oppressed, I inform my people that Turkiye must intervene quickly and do everything required by its historical, humanitarian, and religious responsibilities.”


The Republican People’s Party

A few weeks ago, at the annual conference of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), Ozgur Ozel was elected as the party’s president, succeeding Kemal Kilicdaroglu. In recent times, the party has declared its support for Palestinian resistance.

In a statement by Kilicdaroglu on October 7, 2023, he stated, “Palestine is a state seeking its rights for a long time. We are always with the Palestinian people. We do not want there to be a war at all.”

“Within the framework of democratic procedures, international organizations must also intervene to ensure peace and uphold the rights of Palestine.”

During his tenure as the party’s president, a photo of Kilicdaroglu with the head of the political bureau of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, was widely posted on social media.

On the contrary, the new leader of the opposition party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), leveled serious accusations against Hamas.

Ozgur Ozel stated, “Hamas is a terrorist organization, and it is the one that initiated the operation through its rocket attacks on civilians in the middle of the night, at a time when the conflict between Israel and Palestine was at a standstill.”

While the left-wing faction of the Republican People’s Party supports Palestinian resistance, Ozgur Ozel and his team perceive Hamas as a “terrorist organization,” as he claims, highlighting the differing perspectives within the party.


Other Parties

In clear contrast, the Good Party (IYI) unequivocally equated Hamas with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and shaped its policy accordingly.

Its leader, Meral Aksener, pointed out that Hamas is the one that took the first step, which led to conflicts, and was indeed a terrorist act, according to her claim.

On the other hand, the Future Party, led by Ahmet Davutoglu, believed it was its duty to stand alongside Hamas.

Davutoglu stated that he agrees with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Hamas is not a terrorist organization. In his statement, Davutoglu said, “As I supported justified-resistance of our Palestinian brothers yesterday, I support it today against the ongoing violations of the sanctity of al-Aqsa Mosque, its Islamic identity, continuous attacks, and the establishment of new settlements in the occupied territories.”

The Felicity Party (Saadet) has consistently supported Palestinian resistance. Its leader, Temel Karamollaoglu, emphasized that Hamas has stated, “We defend our land,” and therefore, “I see them defending Palestinian territories, not as a terrorist organization.”

Additionally, the Anatolia Youth Association, affiliated with the Felicity Party, organized demonstrations across Turkiye to support Palestine. Posters featuring the image of Abu Obaida, the military spokesperson for the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, were displayed.

On the other hand, the Victory Party, led by Umit Ozdag, in its statement, asserted that “for a final resolution to the conflict, an independent ‘State of Palestine’ must be established, and the latter should acknowledge Israel’s right to life,” according to its description.


From a Western Perspective

In his interview with Al-Estiklal, Muharrem Coskun, the news coordinator at Akit Channel, stated, “It must be noted that Turkish foreign policy in general, and its stance on the Palestinian-Israeli tension in particular, is dominated by the Republican People’s Party, the party that founded the Turkish Republic.

“The founders of the Republican People’s Party established the party and the foreign policy of the Republic of Turkiye with a Western security-oriented perspective. Therefore, they chose to view the Palestinian crisis from a Western perspective, especially that of the United Nations.”

He continued, “Members of the Republican People’s Party, who also led the government of Turkiye, the Islamic state that first recognized Israel in March 1949, opted to remain neutral in the Palestinian–Israeli crisis. Further, they often preferred dealing with the crisis from a Western perspective.

“This was the case with Gaza today, where they couldn’t adopt any action beyond condemnation while, at the same time, they did not miss any opportunity to issue statements condemning Palestinian resistance.”

Some of them adopted a discourse, saying, “What business do we have in Gaza? Let’s not interfere in Arab affairs and look out for our interests.”

Some other parties outside the Republican People’s Party, such as the Good Party and the Victory Party, aligned with this discourse.

The Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has been in power for 21 years, considers Jerusalem a “red line” and deems “Israel” a “terrorist state.”

These statements from the ruling party and the president pose a challenge to the foreign policy established by the Republican People’s Party in Turkiye.

In reality, from the past up to now, the Republican People’s Party has classified Hamas as a terrorist organization and advocated the necessity of working with the West, which supported the genocide in Gaza.

The Justice and Development Party (AKP), the Good Party (IYI), the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the Felicity Party (Saadet), and the New Welfare Party (Yeniden Refah) jointly signed a statement condemning “Israel.”

However, these parties, except for the AKP, the Felicity Party, and the New Welfare Party, tried to equate “Israel” and Hamas in their criticisms and statements.

In this context, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party, Devlet Bahceli, was seen expressing support for Gaza more than ever before.



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ahmet davutoglu devlet bahceli hamas israeli war crimes meral aksener palestine recep tayyip erdogan turkiye turkiye's foreign policy umit ozdag