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Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (Photo: Republic of Turkiye Directorate of Communications TW Page)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met on Saturday with Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the political bureau of the Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas. 

The closed-door meeting took place at the presidential office within Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul.

According to the official Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT), Erdogan and Haniyeh discussed efforts to secure a ceasefire in Gaza and facilitate humanitarian aid delivery. 

In a post on X, the Turkish Communications Directorate said that “President Erdogan said in the meeting that Türkiye continues its humanitarian aid to Palestine to alleviate some of its suffering”.

Erdogan reportedly emphasized the imperative of Palestinian unity during this critical phase and reiterated Turkiye’s imposition of sanctions on Israel, including trade restrictions.

According to TRT, the Turkish president highlighted that Israel will eventually be held accountable for its injustices against Palestinians and reaffirmed his country’s commitment to drawing international attention to these injustices. 

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan and Intelligence Chief Ibrahim Kalin were also present at the meeting.

The presidential office clarified that no press conference is planned following this significant meeting, the first between Erdogan and Haniyeh since the onset of the Israeli genocidal war on Gaza on October 7.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz condemned Erdogan, stating, “Shame on you.”

Hamas indicated in a statement ahead of Haniyeh’s arrival in Istanbul that the Gaza conflict would be the focal point of discussions.

Gaza Genocide Continues

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7. 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 34,049 Palestinians have been killed, and 76,901 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children. 

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’. 


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