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What is driving Turkey’s Erdogan pro-Hamas, fiery Israel criticism?

Diplomats and experts say Erdogan’s response to Hamas’ attack on Israel and its aftermath have seriously undermined Turkey’s international position.

It did not take long for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to abandon his initially cautious tone over the Gaza conflict and revert to a staunchly pro-Hamas and blisteringly anti-Israel position.

The shift comes as Turkey tries to improve ties with key Western and regional states for a host of reasons, not the least being to attract desperately needed foreign capital to overcome its acute economic crisis. Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek has for months been on tour of capitals as part of the campaign.

Erdogan’s harsh anti-Western rhetoric and his attacks on Israel are expected to negatively impact these efforts by reviving doubts about the reliability of his administration.

Goals and obstacles

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