Saturday, January 31, 2009

"Palestine Today is an Open Air Prison" - Turkish PM Erdogan, interviewed by WAPO

The Washington Post, January 31, 2009 - Excerpt from interview:

Why do you have such a close relationship with Hamas, which is an arm of Iran and is run by Khaled Meshal, who lives in Damascus?

First of all, Hamas is not an arm of Iran. Hamas entered the elections as a political party. If the whole world had given them the chance of becoming a political player, maybe they would not be in a situation like this after the elections that they won. The world has not respected the political will of the Palestinian people. On the one hand, we defend democracy and we try our best to keep democracy in the Middle East, but on the other hand we do not respect the outcome of . . . the ballot box. Palestine today is an open-air prison. Hamas, as much as they tried, could not change the situation. Just imagine, you imprison the speaker of a country as well as some ministers of its government and members of its parliament. And then you expect them to sit obediently?

It sounds like you and Prime Minister Olmert were on the eve of an actual breakthrough between Israel and Syria.

I'm sharing my excitement with you....

See also Hurriyet (Turkey) on this interview: "No dialogue was published regarding the Davos crisis, signaling the interview was made prior to the incident."

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