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Hamas' Haniyeh to visit Turkey as Erdogan hits back at Gaza criticism

The Turkish president dials up his defensive tone in response to domestic criticism over the Gaza war.
Ismail Haniyeh.

ANKARA — Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh will visit Turkey over the weekend, as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is hitting back at domestic criticism over Gaza.

“The leader of the Palestinian cause will be my guest this weekend. We will confer with each other and talk about many things,” Erdogan said Wednesday during a parliamentary address to his party members, without mentioning Haniyeh by name.

Haniyeh will travel to Turkey on Saturday to meet with Erdogan, Turkey’s private NTV television reported on the same day.

Turkey does not designate Hamas as a terrorist organization, unlike the United States, and the militant group's leaders can freely travel to the country from the Qatari capital, where their political bureau is based.

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