Hamas is a Palestinian Islamic extremist terrorist organization drawing inspiration from the Muslim Brotherhood of neighbouring Egypt, calling for the murder of Jews and the liquidation of Israel. It was established in 1988 by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, then a preacher with the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood. Both the United States and the European Union have designated Hamas as a terrorist organization.
Erdogan is giving shelter to Hamas terrorists. Senior Hamas military leader Saleh al-Arouri and senior Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh, both Specially Designated Global Terrorists, met Erdogan in Istanbul as part of a Hamas delegation in 2020. At an earlier public event in Istanbul attended by senior Turkish officials, Arouri claimed responsibility for a terrorist attack that murdered three Jewish teenagers.
As well as financial help, over the past two years Turkey has also granted citizenship to dozens of Hamas members, allowing them to travel without visas to more than 100 countries. Citing Western intelligence sources, the Times of London said that a dedicated headquarters was set up two years ago in Turkey and is overseen by Hamas military leaders. The report said the headquarters’ missions included obtaining “dual-use” equipment for producing weapons Hamas is feared to be planning attacks against Israelis in Europe, and Turkish citizenship would enable its members to travel more easily.
In October 2020 the Sheikh Yassin Collective was implicated in killing of French teacher Samuel Paty. French government spokesperson Gabriel Attal said the Cheikh Yassine Collective was subsequently formally banned during a cabinet meeting because it was “implicated, linked to the beheading attack” and it was used to promote anti-republican hate speech. The Sheikh Yassin Collective was named after the founder of Hamas.
Following the beheading of Samuel Paty by a Hamas-inspired Islamist terrorist, and banning of the Sheikh Yassin Collective that gave him instructions, Erdogan played the victim by stating that France was at war with Muslims and that French president Emmanuel macron needed mental treatment.