Skip to main content

Erdogan pushes Abbas to reconcile with Hamas

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan calls for inter-Palestinian reconciliation as part of his attempts to portray himself as the savior of Gaza.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was hospitalized in the West Bank city of Ramallah and was unable to attend the May 18 Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit in Istanbul. The host, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was thus obliged to tell Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah what he had planned to tell Abbas: that the Palestinian Authority (PA) must take an active part in saving the Gaza Strip.

Erdogan is considered a patron of Hamas. He has in the past hosted a Hamas branch office established in Istanbul by the deputy head of its political bureau, Saleh al-Arouri. The office was shut down in keeping with Israel’s demands as part of an Israeli-Turkish reconciliation deal signed in June 2016. Arouri moved his activities to Beirut, but a source in the PA told Al-Monitor that he often travels to Istanbul, stopping off there on the way to various destinations, especially to Tehran.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.