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HomeHeadlineTurkish Advisor Speaks on Hamas Presence During Recent Conflict

Turkish Advisor Speaks on Hamas Presence During Recent Conflict

In a significant statement, the chief foreign policy and security adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Akif Cagatay Kilic, defended Turkey’s hosting of senior Hamas figures, emphasizing the country’s role in seeking peace. Kilic highlighted that Hamas members, including senior figures, freely travel to and have a permanent presence in Turkey. They have met with President Erdogan periodically, including a meeting between Erdogan and Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh in July. There are unconfirmed reports suggesting Haniyeh might have been in Turkey, instead of his usual residence in Qatar, during the October 7 attacks.

In his first English-language interview since the Gaza war commenced, Kilic admitted uncertainty about Haniyeh’s presence in Turkey on October 7 but did not rule out the possibility. He argued that the focus should be on resolving the ongoing conflict, not on the whereabouts of Hamas members. Kilic recalled a past request from the Israeli government for Turkey to engage with Hamas, which many countries label as a terror organization, a designation Turkey does not share.

Furthermore, Kilic issued a stern warning against any Israeli plans to assassinate Hamas leaders on Turkish soil, declaring such actions as wholly unacceptable. This warning follows earlier statements from unnamed Turkish officials who cautioned Israel about “serious consequences” in case of any aggression against Hamas members in Turkey.

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