Ismail Haniyeh
Ismail HaniyehWissam Nassar/Flash 90

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has been in Turkey for over 12 days, leading some in the Arab world to question why, Israel Hayom reported.

Asharq Al-Awsat reported Thursday morning that Haniyeh's stay in the country raises questions regarding whether Hamas leadership has temporarily moved to Turkey. According to reports, Haniyeh arrived in Turkey leading a delegation of senior officials on April 19. One day later, he met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul. But Haniyeh remained in the country for over a week after the meeting.

Hamas-affiliated sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the terror group's leadership "has no intention of leaving Qatar, and was not asked to do so. Hamas leadership will remain in Qatar despite everything which has been published."

At the same time ,the sources reported that Haniyeh decided to remain in Turkey for an undefined period, after Erdogan offered him to do so. It was also reported that Haniyeh has meetings scheduled with "Palestinian" and other Arab sources who do not have good relationships with Qatar and therefore prefer to meet him in Doha. Among others, Haniyeh has also met with a delegation from Algeria.

According to other sources close to Hamas, "Haniyeh's presence in Turkey is due to the need to discuss the role Turkey plays, which the movement relies on with regards to the future (after the war). In addition, the goal is to be occupied with diplomatic activities, on as wide a scale as possible."

The sources added that "it may be that this is connected to the relaxation of the pressure on Qatar, which is not interested in Hamas causing it additional embarrassment. If Hamas feels that its presence in Doha may cause embarrassment to the Qataris, then it will prefer to leave."