Erdogan: Hamas is Not a Terrorist Movement, They’re Defending Their Land

PNN – Palestine News Network -13.01.11 – 11:32

Istanbul – PNN – Turkish Prime Minister Tayyep Recep Erdogan demanded on Wednesday that Israel apologize for its attack on a Turkish aid ship to Gaza last May in order to normalize relations.

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Turkish Prime Minister Tayyep Recep Erdogan – Archive

When asked about the Hamas movement controlling the Gaza Strip, Erdogan said that he refutes the Western definition of the Islamic group as terrorists.

“Hamas won the elections,” he said, “but were not given the chance to rule. They are not terrorists, they are defending their land.”

During his interview with the Qatar-based Al Jazeera TV, Erdogan also criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government and deemed it the worst government in the history of Israel. The Turkish PM added that Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman was Israel’s “greatest problem.”

Erdogan was reacting to Lieberman’s comments that Turkish demands for an apology for the flotilla incident was cheeky. Erdogan added that Israelis should remove Lieberman from the government.

Turkish-Israeli relations went sour after Israeli commandos attacked the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish aid ship to Gaza, last May. The attack left 9 Turkish aid workers dead. The ship was sailing in international waters during the time of the attack. Erdogan demanded that Israeli apologize and compensate the families of those killed. Israel sent the ship back to Turkey but refused to apologize.

PNN – Palestine News Network – Erdogan: Hamas is Not a Terrorist Movement, They’re Defending Their Land.

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