Erdogan urges world to recognize Hamas

Sun, 01 Feb 2009 09:24:15 GMT

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for recognition of Hamas which won a landslide victory in Palestinian elections.

In an interview with The Washington Post published Saturday, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said isolating Hamas is the reason for the ongoing tensions in the region.


He criticized world leaders for failing to respect the political will of the Palestinian people who voted for the Palestinian resistance movement.

Erdogan said Hamas would have been in a different situation if the world had given it a chance in politics after winning elections.

The Turkish prime minister said Hamas would not be able to change the situation as long as Palestine was "an open air prison".

Hamas won the 2006 Parliamentary elections with 74 of the 132 available seats. The rival ruling Fatah faction got only 45 seats.

Western-backed Acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah however fired Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya's unity government in June 2007.

Erdogan's remarks came after his recent public spat with Israel's President Shimon Peres, over the Israeli massacre in the Gaza Strip, in the world economic forum meeting on Thursday.

On Thursday, Erdogan stormed out of the world economic forum in Davos, Switzerland after a heated debate with Shimon Peres on Gaza.

Erdogan told Peres in the Forum, "Mr. Peres, you are a senior citizen and you speak in a loud voice. I feel that your raised voice is due to the guilt you feel.

"But be sure that my voice will not be raised as yours,"

"When it comes to killing, you know very well how to kill."

"I know very well how you hit and killed children on beaches."

Erdogan walked off in front of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other panel members complaining that his comments on the conflict were cut short by the Washington Post's moderator David Ignatius.

Israel launched the military campaign against the impoverished coastal strip after an Israeli National Security Council assessment urged Tel Aviv to hinder 'elections in the Palestinian Authority at all costs' because it may lead to another Hamas victory.