June 10, 2024 | The Jerusalem Post

Turkey’s foreign minister meets Hamas leader in Doha

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan met with Hamas leadership in Doha over the weekend. Turkey’s current leadership are backers of Hamas, and they have hosted Hamas leaders numerous times.
June 10, 2024 | The Jerusalem Post

Turkey’s foreign minister meets Hamas leader in Doha

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan met with Hamas leadership in Doha over the weekend. Turkey’s current leadership are backers of Hamas, and they have hosted Hamas leaders numerous times.

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan met Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Qatar over the weekend. The meeting came as the Turkish official was attending a ministerial meeting focusing on Turkey’s ties with the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Ankara’s current leaders are backers of Hamas and they have hosted the terrorist group’s leaders numerous times, including after the Hamas massacre of October 7. Turkey is also a member of NATO. It is one of two Western allies, along with Qatar, that support Hamas.

Fidan was proud of the meeting with the Hamas leader. He posted about it on the social media platform X. “Minister of Foreign Affairs Hakan Fidan met with Ismail Haniyeh, Head of Hamas Political Bureau, on the margins of the Sixth Ministerial Meeting of Turkiye-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) High Level Strategic Dialogue, in Doha.”

Efforts to legitimize Hamas 

A photo posted by Fidan showed both men seated. There were no flags in the meeting. The men sat in front of a giant image of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.

Turkey has sought to position itself as the main backer of Hamas in this current conflict. It has also sought to legitimize Hamas through meetings such as this, to make it appear that Hamas governs not just Gaza, but also the Palestinians in general. This is designed to create an image for Hamas that makes it seem like it could one day govern the West Bank as well.

The International Criminal Court said in May that it was seeking applications for warrants of arrest before its pre-trial chamber against Haniyeh. This has not changed Ankara’s decision to meet with a possible wanted war criminal.

Seth Frantzman is the author of Drone Wars: Pioneers, Killing Machine, Artificial Intelligence and the Battle for the Future (Bombardier 2021) and an adjunct fellow at The Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Issues:

Gulf States International Organizations Turkey