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Will Erdogan Go to Gaza?

Despite Hamas' statement that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will travel to Gaza on July 5, questions remain as to whether the trip will actually take place.
A Palestinian youth draped in a Turkish flag looks at the Gaza Seaport during a rally in support of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in Gaza City June 18, 2013. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTX10RQ8

When Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters on Tuesday, June 25, that he might make a “surprise visit” to Gaza, no one thought it would happen as early as next week. Though it's unlikely the visit will take place any time soon, the Islamist Palestinian militant group Hamas believes differently.

As reported on June 27 by Falestin, a newspaper considered to be Hamas' mouthpiece, Abdelsalam Siyyam, secretary-general of the Hamas government, said Erdogan’s Gaza visit is scheduled for July 5. Siyyam said, “Two Turkish delegations, one governmental and one press, arrived in Gaza two days ago and met with Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and Deputy Foreign Minister Ghazi Hamad. ... They informed us about the timing of the visit.”

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