On 22 August 2020 in Istanbul, Turkish President Erdoğan met with two Hamas leaders, both named as ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorists’. Hamas has been listed as a terrorist organisation by the EU, the US and other countries. The US Rewards for Justice Program is seeking information on one of the individuals who met with Erdoğan concerning his involvement in multiple terrorist attacks, hijackings and kidnappings.
Erdoğan’s support of and liaison with various terrorist organisations in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Libya and elsewhere, as well as his continued rapprochement with Hamas, are counter to global efforts to prevent terrorist attacks. This is the second time that the Turkish President has met with the Hamas leadership this year. The first such meeting was on 01 February 2020.
On 25 August 2020, Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Costas Mavrides of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, tabled a written parliamentary question to the Vice-President of the Commission and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell. MEP Mavrides asked, “Will the High Representative say whether he is aware of the Turkish President’s actions and what specific steps he will take, in accordance with EU principles, without being swayed by political considerations or special interests?”
On 26 November, High Representative and Vice-President Josep Borrell formally responded on behalf of the European Commission. He stated that “Turkey has not aligned with the EU designation of Hamas as a terrorist organisation” and “as an EU candidate country, Turkey is expected to progressively align with the EU Common Foreign Security Policy”.
High Representative and Vice-President Borrell further reported that “the Commission’s recent Turkey 2020 Report notes backsliding in the framework of political dialogue on foreign and security policy as Turkey’s foreign policy increasingly collided with the EU priorities in this field”. He added that “it highlights that Turkey continued not to align with most EU restrictive measures” and “it calls on Turkey to take decisive steps to significantly improve alignment with EU declarations and Council decisions on Common Foreign and Security Policy as well as to enhance the political dialogue on foreign and security policy with the EU”.
Photo Credit : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recep_Tayyip_Erdo%C4%9Fan