Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a massive rally of supporters in Konya that he did not see Hamas as a terrorist organization but as a resistance group that “is fighting for its own land.”
In this photo made available by the Turkish Prime Ministry Press Services office, showing Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, as he visits with a Turkish man who was injured in the recent Israeli naval commando raid, during his tour of a hospital in Ankara, Turkey, Thursday, June 3, 2010. (AP)
While continuing his harsh accusations against Israel over its deadly raid on an aid flotilla, the Turkish prime minister said he does not see Hamas as a terrorist organization, but as a resisting group struggling for its own land.
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“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.”