Friday, April 12, 2019

  • Friday, April 12, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
In February, Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan assured a delegation of Arab Knesset members that Turkey will not “turn its back” on the Palestinian cause or people, adding that Ankara will share "all means available" for ending the occupation and establishing peace.

In March, Turkey's foreign minister said  that defending the Palestinian cause is a top priority for Ankara.

Hamas has praised Turkey, saying, "Along with a few other countries, Turkey has stood by the Palestinian people, despite the rush by a number of Arab states to normalize their relations with Israel."

Turkey might love "Palestine," but it seems to have a big problem with Palestinians.

And a young man is now dead as a result.

Mohammed Abu Shamla, originally from Gaza, fell from a balcony while trying to escape as police raided the hotel he was staying in with many other Palestinians in Didem last weekend. He died this morning.

According to witnesses, Turkish police raid the hotel practically daily, looking for Palestinians to arrest for being in the country illegally. Usually they look for Syrian refugees of Palestinian descent but they also arrest Gazans or anyone else Palestinian. On Saturday, the police fired tear gas into the hotel rooms, including rooms with women and children. (Tear gas can be fatal when used indoors.)

Haaretz reported something similar last year:
In Turkey, many Gazans have no option but to stay illegally beyond their tourist visa. They live a life of paranoia, trying to avoid security checkpoints in the streets, at which Arab-looking pedestrians are usually stopped and asked a single fateful question, to which the wrong answer might mean harassment, incarceration or deportation: "Are you Syrian?" Gazans are mostly let off the hook.

A Gazan friend was stopped and checked three times in one day, and the last time he was asked if he was Syrian, he sarcastically answered, "I wish if I had that honor." He was held for an hour in detention for his impertinence.
According to EuroMed Monitor, some 8000 Syrian Palestinians live illegally in Turkey, but many thousands more seem to have gone there from Gaza last year when Egypt opened the Rafah crossing.

The Turkish government, like much of the rest of the Muslim world, loves the Palestinian cause - but only as long as no one asks it to do anything for actual Palestinians. It claims to have the greatest sympathy for people in Gaza, but that is only as long as they remain in Gaza.

The Arab and Muslim world only love Palestinians when they can be used as cannon fodder against Israel. But treating them as human beings is not a priority - because Palestinians living happily outside Palestine are useless to advance the "cause."





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