Recep Tayyip Erdogan: More Than 1,000 Hamas Terrorists Received Treatment in Turkish Hospitals

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is battling not to be the biggest loser from the Id

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that more than one thousand Hamas terrorists have received medical treatment in hospitals across Turkey.

Erdogan refused to admit Hamas was a terrorist group, instead describing it as a “resistance movement.” 

This greatly dismayed Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who was meeting with Erdogan in Ankara to defuse tensions between Greece and Turkey. The two leaders were holding a joint press conference when Erdogan revealed Turkey had been treating Hamas fighters.

When Erdogan said he was “saddened” that Mitsotakis continued to think of Hamas as a terrorist organization, Mitsotakis curtly responded, “Let’s agree to disagree.”

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (L) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) speak to the media after their talks in Ankara, Turkey, on May 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

It should be noted that Erdogan has no problem using the word “terrorists” to describe extremists who oppose his government. Erdogan and his top officials tend to describe every armed Kurd in the Middle East as a terrorist, insisting all of them are in league with the violent separatist PKK party in Turkey, including Kurdish militias that were instrumental in helping Western powers defeat the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

The Times of Israel (TOI) noted that Hamas has maintained an office in Turkey since 2011 when Turkey helped to broker an agreement for the freedom of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Erdogan, who has been in power for two decades, reportedly agreed to become quietly involved in the negotiations after a personal appeal from Shalit’s father.

Erdogan loudly insisted that Hamas should not be treated as a “terrorist organization” even after it murdered, raped, burned, decapitated, and kidnapped more than 1,200 Israeli civilians on October 7.

“Hamas is not a terrorist organization. It is a group of mujahideen (holy warriors) defending their lands,” the Turkish leader said, insisting that the Israelis were the real terrorists. 

Like other apologists for Hamas savagery, Erdogan said that Israel has no inherent right of self-defense that would justify its military response against the October 7 attack. The Turkish leader has since compared Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Adolf Hitler on several occasions, claiming Israel’s war in Gaza is an act of genocide like the Holocaust.

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Erdogan restricted trade with Israel in April and halted it entirely in early May to protest the war in Gaza. Turkey also said it would join South Africa’s case of genocide against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICU).

On Sunday, Erdogan complained that the U.S. and Europe were not doing enough to pressure Israel into a ceasefire before it could begin its final operations against Hamas. He once again assailed Netanyahu as a genocidal dictator who wants to “attack the innocent people in Rafah”:

We saw that countries who lecture us on human rights and freedoms at every opportunity openly support those who massacred 35,000 Gazans. We saw that those who said the right to protest was sacred until yesterday can’t tolerate demonstrations that support Palestine.

He threw in some grumbles at the United States and quoted Hamas propaganda on Gaza casualties.

Given this context, it would not be shocking if Erdogan did order Turkish hospitals to treat Hamas terrorists, but he did not offer details of when or how this was done. Getting a thousand injured Hamas fighters out of Gaza would be very difficult, and getting them to Turkey would also be a challenge.

Two Turkish sources told Middle East Eye on Monday that Erdogan “misspoke,” and there are a thousand Palestinian civilians receiving treatment in Turkish hospitals, not Hamas fighters.


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