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Turkey Draws Near To Hamas

As Via Meadia has previously reported, with Iran increasingly isolated on the international stage and Syria at war with itself, Hamas is looking for a new backer. Today comes news suggesting that Turkey is ready to play. Reports the Hurriyet Daily News:

Turkey will help Palestinians in the Gaza Strip repair mosques damaged in Israeli strikes and rebuild those torn down, the head of the Religious Affairs Directorate Mehmet Görmez said yesterday.

This is a smart move: low cost, high profile, and will gain goodwill for Turkey throughout the region. In the past, Hamas has drawn much of its funding and its political support from Israel’s most bitter opponents: Syria and Iran. Mubarak era Egypt and Kemalist Turkey wanted little to do with Hamas.

Now increasing Islamist influence in both countries makes Hamas a much better match for them, ideologically at least. It will be interesting, to say the least, to see whether Hamas’ likely new paymasters and supporters will want to see Hamas position itself vis a vis Israel. Turkey and Egypt (who may become rivals in the next stage of Middle East politics) have different international interests and priorities than Syria and Iran. Their hostility to Israel is real, but both countries have many reasons to prefer stability in the region.  Syria and Iran were more interested in stirring the pot.

Via Meadia will continue to watch this story closely; alignments are changing in the Middle East as the geopolitical consequences of the Arab Spring slowly make themselves felt. Interesting times…

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  • Martin Berman-Gorvine

    The implication is supposed to be that Islamist Turkey and Egypt will somehow moderate Hamas’ genocidal aims and methods? I’m afraid that just the reverse is true–Egypt and Turkey are becoming part of, or returning to in the former case, the throw-the-Jews-into-the-sea mentality.

  • Pedro Marquez

    Erdogan is Putin on the Bosphorous, minus Putin’s intelligence. This had been clear for years to anyone who bothered to follow the “Ergenekon” purge. But it’s true that right now we have no choice but to employ Sunni Islamists as a counterweight to the radical Shiite axis.

    However, that situation could really change if and when the Iranian regime crumbles. Interesting times indeed!

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