ANKARA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has initiated talks with Hamas to secure the release of Israeli hostages captured during a recent attack by the Palestinian resistance group.
A senior Turkish official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, revealed that President Erdogan ordered the negotiations.
Turkey, which has had historical ties with Hamas, is now actively engaged in diplomatic efforts to mediate the conflict arising from the recent surprise attack by Hamas on Israel.
Turkey’s commitment to this initiative has been evident through President Erdogan’s discussions with regional leaders. He conveyed Ankara’s willingness to mediate and facilitate the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian crisis during his recent conversations with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.
The Turkish official provided insight into the negotiations, saying, “Turkey is conducting negotiations concerning the civilian prisoners held by Hamas.”
However, no further details regarding the talks were disclosed.
Turkey has consistently supported the Palestinian cause and advocated for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The country hosts members of Hamas and has been working on mending its strained relationship with Israel, primarily through energy cooperation.
As the conflict in the region escalates, Turkey has called for restraint and emphasised the need to protect civilians on both sides. Ankara has also voiced concerns about the potential for the conflict to spread further, asserting that the key to regional peace lies in the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.
President Erdogan, in his response to the crisis, has strongly criticised Israel’s actions in Gaza, describing them as a “massacre.” He pointed to the blockade’s impact, which has disrupted essential services such as water and electricity, and lamented the loss of civilian lives.