Erdogan disputes Greek PM’s remarks about Hamas

Published May 14, 2024
Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a press conference with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (not seen) at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, May 13, 2024 — Reuters
Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a press conference with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (not seen) at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, May 13, 2024 — Reuters

ANKARA: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that more than 1,000 members of Hamas were being treated in hospitals across Turkiye as he reiterated his stance that it was a “resistance movement”.

A Turkish official later said Erdogan had “misspoke” and meant that Gazans more generally were being treated in Turkiye.

“If you call Hamas a ‘terrorist organisation,’ this would sadden us,” Erdogan said at a joint press conference with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Ankara after Mitsotakis had referred to Hamas as such.

“We don’t deem Hamas a terrorist organisation… More than 1,000 members of Hamas are under treatment in hospitals across our country,” Erdogan said.

A Turkish official said that Erdogan had meant to refer to Palestinians from Hamas-run Gaza in general, rather than Hamas members.

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

This news agency could not immediately determine the background of those being treated in Turkey, but in November Ankara said it was evacuating dozens of wounded or sick Gazans, mostly cancer patients, and their companions following Israel’s offensive in Gaza.

Published in Dawn, May 14th, 2024

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