Sunday, May 19, 2024

1,000 Hamas members being treated in Turkish hospitals; they’re not terrorists: Erdogan

“President Erdogan misspoke, he meant 1,000 Gazans are under treatment, not Hamas members,” a Turkish official said.

• May 15, 2024
Erdogan, Hamas militants
Erdogan, Hamas militants

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan says Hamas is not a terrorist organisation but a “resistance movement” while stating that over 1000 members of the Palestine militant group are currently being treated in hospitals across the country.

“If you call Hamas a ‘terrorist organization,’ this would sadden us,” Mr Erdogan said on Monday during a joint press conference with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis after the Greek leader had called the group a ‘terrorist organisation’ earlier.

“We don’t deem Hamas a terrorist organization… More than 1,000 members of Hamas are under treatment in hospitals across our country,” Mr Erdogan added during his press conference speech in Ankara.

Mr Erdogan’s statement is not surprising to many as the Turkish leader had on multiple occasions publicly expressed his support for Hamas and the group’s cause in Gaza. 

He has also been critical of the Israeli war in Gaza and has even gone as far as saying Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ‘genocidal methods’ would make Hitler jealous. 

Over 30,000 people, including more than 7,000 children, have been killed since Israel began its full-scale attack on Gaza last year.

Meanwhile, VOA reported that a Turkish official, who spoke under anonymity, backtracked Mr Erdogan’s statement, saying that the president “misspoke” as the 1000 people being treated in Turkish hospitals are Gazans.

“President Erdogan misspoke, he meant 1,000 Gazans are under treatment, not Hamas members,” a Turkish official said.

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