Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country stands by Hamas, calling the resistance movement an election-taking political party, and ruling out achieving peace in the region without them.
"We stand by Hamas when they are right, because the Hamas movement is a resistance movement. I do not see Hamas as 'terrorist'. They are people who defend the land, and it is a political group that entered the elections and won the elections," Erdogan told Al-Jazeera Wednesday night.
The Turkish premier accused those who call Hamas "enemies of democracy" of not giving the party a political opportunity. "They have been able to place all obstacles in front of them (Hamas) so they do not succeed in any way."
Erdogan urged Quartet head Tony Blair to include Hamas in the peace process, saying: "Peace will not come out of a Hamas-excluded table."
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