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Turkey-Palestine relations are growing

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A recent development is the growth of relations between Turkey and Palestine politically and economically, with Ankara dealing with both Fatah and Hamas. This is an indication of Turkey’s ability to strengthen its links with both poles in the Palestinian political arena, which are currently almost totally estranged.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has announced that it has handed over $3.5 million to the Palestinian Authority as part of a $10 million grant earmarked since September 2017 towards economic development. Earlier this month, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh in Ankara to discuss issues in the Palestinian arena. The latter briefed his hosts on the difficult financial situation facing the PA due to US and Israeli sanctions.

According to Palestinian media, Shtayyeh met with Hamas officials living in Turkey to discuss the “deal of the century” and try to reach a consensus on it. A couple of weeks ago, the Deputy Chairman of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), Numan Kurtulmus, met with former Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Meshaal in Istanbul and stressed his country’s permanent support for the Palestinian issue. Meshaal expressed his pride in Turkey’s continued backing. A month before that, the second Turkish-Palestinian conference was launched in the presence of officials from both sides and more than 300 Palestinians from across Turkey. The Turks reiterated that their country will remain a defender of the Palestinian cause and a host for the Palestinian people.

READ: Press watchdog slams Israel bombing of Turkey news outlet in Gaza

The Palestinians’ presence in Turkey over the past few weeks indicates that Ankara’s status is growing in importance amongst them due to the limited regional options that they have. The Arab states have either become more attached to the US-led project or are preoccupied with domestic matters. Either way, they no longer give the Palestinian cause the attention it deserves. Thus, Turkey is shown in a better light given its embrace of the Palestinians by speaking on their behalf and adopting their positions.

The past few years have seen a Palestinian political and economic migration towards Turkey. In September last year, the governments in Ankara and Ramallah........

© Middle East Monitor