The article says: Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey said
on Friday that he planned to visit the Gaza Strip soon, a move that
would significantly enhance the legitimacy of the Hamas-controlled
Gaza government and antagonize the Palestinian Authority, Israel and
Why then is Mr. Erdogan doing that? Is he really legitimizing Hamas
(some in Arab world as well as in the West call it terrorist),
antagonizing the Palestinian Authority, Israel and the West?
What is Mr. Erdogan trying to gain for Turkiye out of that?
Is he an idiot or a genious?
He does not make any sense at all !!!
Turkish Leader Says He Plans a Trip to Gaza Soon
Picture: Two Palestinians walked on the beach near Rafah, the
southernmost city of Gaza. The Turkish prime minister announced Friday
that he would visit the tiny Palestinian enclave.
By JODI RUDOREN
Published: November 2, 2012
JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey said on
Friday that he planned to visit the Gaza Strip soon, a move that would
significantly enhance the legitimacy of the Hamas-controlled Gaza
government and antagonize the Palestinian Authority, Israel and the
Mr. Erdogan, who twice last year scheduled and then canceled visits to
Gaza, did not offer specifics about the timing or agenda for such a
visit, which he mentioned to reporters traveling with him to Ankara
from Berlin, according to the Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman. A
Foreign Ministry official later said that the prime minister was
simply expressing an “intention,” and that he wanted to visit
Mr. Erdogan’s comments came nine days after the emir of Qatar became
the first head of state to set foot in Gaza since Hamas took over in
2007, pledging $400 million for development projects, including
housing complexes, road renovation and a prosthetics hospital. The
crown prince of Bahrain was scheduled to visit the Palestinian enclave
on Thursday but canceled at the last minute to avoid political
repercussions, according to reports in the Arab news media.
A visit by the leader of Turkey, a huge power that is a member of NATO
and a critical bridge between the West and the Islamic world, would
make a much bigger diplomatic splash, paving the way for Egypt and
other countries to expand direct, independent relationships with Hamas
and further dividing the Palestinian leadership. Officials in the
Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, the
Hamas rival that governs in the West Bank, had warned that the Qatari
mission would set a dangerous precedent.
“We are against all these visits,” President Mahmoud Abbas of the
Palestinian Authority said in an interview that was recorded before
Mr. Erdogan’s comments and was broadcast on Friday night by Channel 2
News in Israel. “If they want to help Gaza, they should come through
the authorities, through the legal authority.”
Both Turkey and Qatar have tried to help repair the rift between Hamas
and Fatah, the dominant party in the West Bank, and some analysts
suggested that Mr. Erdogan might make such reconciliation a focus if
he visited. On the plane, according to Today’s Zaman, Mr. Erdogan said
that he had once invited Mr. Abbas to accompany him to Gaza, and that
“he was warm to the suggestion.” But Yasir Abed Rabbo, Mr. Abbas’s
spokesman, balked at that notion in an interview on Friday night,
saying: “Nobody can invite us to go to our own country. This is
Turkey has been a strong ally and a significant donor to the
Palestinian Authority, but also an important friend of Gaza. A Turkish-
led flotilla’s attempt in 2010 to break Israel’s naval blockade on
Gaza ended in an Israeli raid that killed nine people aboard the Mavi
Marmara. That episode, in turn, led to the downgrading of diplomatic
relations between Israel and Turkey, which in May indicted four high-
ranking Israeli officials over their roles in the raid.
The renewed attention on Gaza comes at a critical time for the
Palestinian Authority. Allies of Mr. Abbas are feverishly trying to
garner international support for a bid to gain “nonmember state”
status in the United Nations General Assembly. The Palestinian
Authority is struggling with a financial crisis that led its prime
minister, Salam Fayyad, to suggest this week that his cabinet could be
dissolved and reformed. And municipal elections last month revealed
growing rivalries within Fatah.
“It’s a slap in the face,” Ehud Yaari, a Middle East analyst for
Channel 2 News, said of Mr. Erdogan’s plan. “The P.A. has been
steadily losing support in the Arab world. It is losing its cohesion.
They are losing ground.”
Alon Liel, who led Israel’s diplomatic mission to Turkey in the 1980s,
said a visit by Mr. Erdogan would “dramatically change the image of
the regime” in Gaza, and “deepen the grievances that the Israeli
public has towards Turkey.” But he predicted that Mr. Erdogan would
try to “compensate” the Palestinian Authority by helping with its
United Nations bid.
“Erdogan feels closer to Hamas than to Fatah because Hamas is
religious,” Mr. Liel said. “By definition, he will always prefer a
religious leadership to a secular leadership. But it’s important for
him not to humiliate Abbas. He will try to balance it.”
Ghassan Khatib, a professor at Birzeit University in the West Bank who
formerly served as a spokesman for the Palestinian Authority, agreed,
noting that Mr. Abbas had recently visited Turkey.
“If these countries are maintaining good official relations with the
P.A. and the P.L.O. and at the same time giving support to Gaza,
including going to Gaza, I don’t see that this is problematic,” Mr.
Khatib said. “Giving support to Gaza can also be understood as an
attempt to help this part of Palestinians that are facing especially
Tim Arango contributed reporting from Istanbul.