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Turkey’s Erdogan says Hamas is not a terrorist organization, cancels Israel trip

October 26, 2023

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that the Palestinian militant group Hamas is not a terrorist organisation but a liberation group waging a battle to protect its land.

In a speech to his party’s lawmakers in parliament, Erdogan said Israel had taken advantage of Turkey’s good intentions and that he will not go to Israel as previously planned.

He also urged an immediate ceasefire between Israeli and Palestinian forces and said Muslim countries must act together for lasting peace, calling on world powers to pressure Israel to halt attacks. Erdogan said that he was saddened by the United Nations’ “inability” to agree on a resolution regarding Israel’s bombardment of Gaza and to call for a humanitarian ceasefire there.

The Turkish president also said that the Rafah border gate must be kept open for humanitarian aid and that prisoner exchanges should be concluded urgently.

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