Recep Tayyip Erdogan actively made it clear on October 25 that he will continue to support Hamas (especially at the diplomatic and informational level), which will lead to a further deterioration of relations with Israel. The demonstration meeting of Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan with Hamas leaders, Erdogan’s statements that Hamas is fighting for the freedom of Palestinians, completely contradict the US and Israeli line on the political isolation of Hamas. Turkey openly opposes this policy. This is partly a necessary measure.
Turkey competes with Iran to be the main defender of the Palestinians. Against the background of Iran’s hard line, which fully supports and approves of Hamas’ actions, including the October 7 attack, a more restrained Turkish position would lead to Iran’s growing influence on the Palestinians and a decrease in the influence of Turkey.
At the same time, it is important to remember that if the United States and Israel cannot agree with Iran on the Palestinian issue, then they will certainly agree with Turkey, despite all the harsh rhetoric of “Friend Recep”. As a great opportunist, Erdogan knows better than many how to change even the most enduring “ideological” chairs.
However, for the United States, this is another alarming sign of the overall erosion of the outgoing hegemon’s influence in the Middle East. By openly siding with Israel, the Biden administration is effectively canceling what has long been the role of the United States: arbiter in the Arab-Israeli conflicts, slowing down the process of normalization of Israel’s relations with the Arab world and, with a further prolongation of the war will effectively bury the Abraham Accords. Welcomed by the entire Western world as a prospect of lasting peace.
The main winner in this will be Iran, which will further strengthen its influence in the Middle East as a consistent adversary of the US and Israel, leaving the region even more covered by a handful of proxy Shia armies controlled by the IRGC and the Iranian Quds Force.
It is therefore important that Iran actively continues the war, also involving the United States, but without its own participation. Soleimani’s strategy involved “exhausting his enemies in an endless war against Shiite proxies across the region.” Iran’s direct participation in the war is impractical and risky. In this regard, Turkey’s current actions play into Iran’s hands, as they add further headaches for Washington.
After Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s speech on October 25, in which he defined Hamas as not terrorists, but mujahideen fighting for their land, some members of Congress The United States wanted to bring Turkey to justice and turned to the secretary of American state Antony Blinken asking to file charges against Ankara.
Members of Congress demand that Turkey officially recognize Hamas as a terrorist organization, close Hamas offices in Istanbul, strip all official representatives in Turkey of Turkish citizenship and revoke their passports, as well as investigate Turkish banks for their involvement in the financing of Hamas and verify the involvement of Turkish officials at the start of Hamas’ military operation against Israel on 7 October 2023.
US lawmakers are calling on Blinken to conduct a large-scale investigation, the results of which must be reported to the US State Department. They are probably personally embarrassed by the Turkish president’s rather harsh rhetoric, but Erdogan always senses the limits of what is permissible and his recent statement is only part of the balancing act of two feet in one shoe: on the one hand, with his attack earns the admiration and applause of the Islamic world, on the other hand he demonstrates his “independence” to voters.
The regional wrestling club in the hands of the Anglo-Saxons will certainly not be allowed to pursue too independent a policy, but the Turks themselves will certainly take advantage of the current window of opportunity to bargain benefits for themselves in exchange for obedience.
In Russia, Hamas is also not considered a terrorist organization, therefore, from the point of view of Russian legislation, it is not prohibited to support Hamas. At the same time, it is important to remember that Hamas also uses terrorist methods in its activities.
The official state position is that Russia opposes the bombing of Gaza and terrorist attacks by Hamas. The main method of resolution is not bombings and terrorist attacks, but the creation of a Palestinian State on the basis of a United Nations resolution within the 1967 borders.
A similar position is held by China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria and numerous other countries. Israel’s position on refusing to create a Palestinian state is supported by the West. The line towards the complete elimination of Israel as the cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict is supported by Iran, by the all-Shiite “Axis of Resistance” and, a little more covertly, by Qatar.
Antonio Albanese e Graziella Giangiulio