Turkey is preventing Hamas from strengthening its ties with Egypt’s new regime, an Egyptian newspaper has reported.
According to the Al-Ahram daily, which cited senior officials in the Palestinian Authority, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan prevented Hamas’s Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh from launching an initiative aimed at reconciling with Egypt and improving Hamas’s relations with it.
According to the report, Erdogan advised the leaders of Hamas not to make any concessions to Egypt at this stage, given the fact that the region is still unstable, and that it is possible to change the current regime in Egypt using the pressure exerted by Turkey, Qatar and the International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood.
It was also reported that the Turkish prime minister pressured Haniyeh not to recognize the “military coup” and reject the Egyptian demand to extradite any Gazans suspected of involvement in the terrorism in the Sinai Peninsula.
According to Al-Ahram, Haniyeh contacted Erdogan before giving his speech in honor of the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday on October 19. Erdogan had Haniyeh change the wording of his speech in accordance with his demands, the newspaper claimed.
Hamas enjoyed close relations with Egypt’s former Islamist president Mohammed Morsi but has had tense relations with the military-backed regime that replaced him in July.
As part of its war on the ongoing terrorism in the Sinai, Egypt’s army has also been applying pressure on Hamas, which is blamed by Egypt for being involved in teaching Islamists in Egypt how to carry out attacks.
Erdogan has publicly expressed his disapproval of the military’s ouster of Morsi and has chastised the West for failing to brand the ouster a coup.
He even went as far as to accuse Israel of being behind Morsi’s ouster. Egypt, outraged by the comments, warned Turkey that it was losing its patience over Erdogan’s remarks, saying the comments aimed to divide Egyptians.