Bilirakis, Lawmakers Condemn Turkey's Erdogan for Pro-Hamas Comments

Bilirakis, Lawmakers Condemn Turkey's Erdogan for Pro-Hamas Comments

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
October 30, 2023

It seems as though everybody wants to express sympathy for the Hamas terror group, even in the face of the atrocities committed against Israelis. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan recently called the terrorist organization "a liberation group," and "mujahideen waging a battle to protect its lands and people." Representative Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the US in condemning Erdogan's remarks.

Erdogan made his statement in Ankara on Wednesday in an address to fellow Justice and Development Party (AKP) members. In addition to calling Hamas "a liberation force," Erdogan slammed the Western powers supporting Israel as murderers and madmen, saying, "Israel's attacks on Gaza, for both itself and those supporting them, amount to murder and mental illness."

Rep. Bilirakis and several other American lawmakers, including Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), called Erdogan's remarks "appalling." Moreover, the condemnation said, "[His] comments on Hamas continue the deeply concerning trend of Turkey under President Erdogan’s leadership undermining the peace and security of its democratic neighbors."

"We call on the international community to hold Turkey accountable for these antisemitic words, as well as for its longstanding belligerence towards Armenians, Hellenes (Greeks), Kurds, and other communities in the region. As the United States’ NATO ally, Turkey should be held to a higher standard and these actions are unacceptable," the condemnation concluded.

Turkey has long been "the belligerent NATO member," taking advantage of the Russia-Ukraine war to move aggressively against the Kurds, and has long been in dispute with Greece over the Aegean Sea. Turkey has also expressed support for Azerbaijan in its efforts to control the Nagorno-Karabakh region currently held by Armenia.

Earlier in October, Representative Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL) issued a similar condemnation of remarks made by Colombian President Gustavo Petro, who compared Israel to Nazi Germany and accused the Jewish State of committing genocide.

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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