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Erdogan Wins Palestinian Hearts and Minds

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s increasing political and economic support for the Palestinians has strengthened Turkey's ties with both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, writes Adnan Abu Amer.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L) and Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan pose before a meeting in Ankara February 29, 2012. REUTERS/Umit Bektas (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR2YMY2
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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan didn't need to declare a connection between Zionism and racism to gain popularity among Palestinians. His most recent speech spurred angry reactions from Israel, adding fuel to the fire in relations between Tel Aviv and Ankara, which have been tense since the Marmara flotilla raid off the coast of Gaza three years ago.

People walking through the streets of Gaza Strip can find images of Erdogan and shops that carry his name. Newborns have even been named for him on birth certificates in Palestinian hospitals, reflecting love for Erdogan and the role he plays. Meanwhile, Palestinians sing of the support they wish to see from their Arab brethren.

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