Turkey not meeting any Israeli demand on Hamas, Turkish top diplomat says
Turkey refused to comply with any Israeli request against Hamas, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.
“We haven’t met any [Israeli] demand on Hamas. We don’t view Hamas as a terrorist organization,” Cavusoglu said during a parliamentary proceeding on Tuesday, Sozcu newspaper reported.
Turkey and Israel are making efforts to mend relations that was deeply fractured more than a decade, over a string of disputed issues, including Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and Turkey’s ties with Hamas which is designated as a terrorist organisation by Israel and the United States.
Although the two governments in August decided to restore diplomatic relations and they both named new ambassadors for the first time since 2018 last month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s close relations with Hamas continues to be a stumbling block in fully repairing the bilateral ties. Israel frequently calls on Ankara to shut down Hamas’ Istanbul office where Tel-Aviv says the group plans attacks against Israel. Erdogan’s hosting top Hamas officials in Ankara last year and granting citizenships to its senior members also creates a hardship in relations.