Turkey

Senior Hamas Operatives Based in Turkey Continue Directing Terrorist Networks in Judea and Samaria

In August and September 2014 the Israeli security forces exposed two Hamas military-terrorist networks operating in Judea and Samaria. They recruited squads to carry out terrorist attacks against Israeli targets, including showcase attacks in Jerusalem (attacks on the Teddy (Soccer) Stadium and the light railway).
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Saleh al-Arouri, Turkey-based senior Hamas operative who handles military-terrorist networks in Judea and Samaria, admitted that Hamas was behind the abduction and murder of the three Jewish youths from Gush Etzion

Saleh Muhammad Suleiman al-Arouri is a senior Hamas operative based in Turkey. On August 20 2014, he told the participants of the fourth conference of the World Union of Islamic Sages (held in Turkey) that Hamas’ military-terrorist wing was behind the abduction and murder of the three Jewish youths in Gush Etzion (June 12, 2014).
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The IHH, the jihadist Turkish organization that played a major role in the Mavi Marmara flotilla, currently leads an international anti-Israeli coalition that announced its intention to dispatch another flotilla to the Gaza Strip in 2014.

On August 12, 2014, a press conference was held in Istanbul to announce a new flotilla to end the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. The press conference was organized by the Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FCC), led, in ITIC assessment, by the IHH. According to an IHH report and a Coalition press release, discussions about
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Foreign fighters from various countries and regions in Asia, fighting against the Syrian regime, most of them in organizations affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the global jihad

This study examines the foreign fighters from various countries and regions in Asia fighting against the Syrian regime. The study shows that most of the foreign fighters from Asia are fighting in the ranks of organizations affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the global jihad.
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Foreign fighters from Western countries in the ranks of the rebel organizations affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the global jihad in Syria *

This is a follow-up study of the ITIC’s in-depth study of foreigners in Syria. It deals with foreign fighters from Western countries in the ranks of the Syrian rebels, mainly the Al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (henceforth the Islamic State).
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Turkey

Since the victory of the Islamic Party in Turkey in 2008 and the election of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as Turkish Prime Minister, Turkey has adopted an active and assertive regional foreign policy that reflects considerable self-confidence. Turkey’s policy seeks to strengthen Turkey’s relations with its neighbors, especially Iran, Iraq, and Syria, in order to give Turkey strategic depth and turn it into an influential regional power. This is to be accomplished by taking advantage of the regional upheaval perceived by the Turkish government as an opportunity to promote Turkey’s regional interests and influence.

As one of the instruments to promote its influence, Turkey makes use of NGOs. One of these organizations is the IHH, a radical Islamic organization that sees itself, among other things, as an aid to Turkish policy. This organization was an active participant in the organization of flotillas and convoys to the Gaza Strip, the most prominent of which was the Mavi Marmara flotilla.  

In light of this policy of the Turkish government headed by Erdoğan, relations between Israel and Turkey gradually changed. Turkey has increasingly begun to stand by the Palestinians in their struggle against Israel, particularly the Hamas movement. The Turkish government transfers funds and aid to Hamas, and Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan has repeatedly condemned Israel’s policy.

The height of the escalation in Israeli-Turkish relations followed the events of the Mavi Marmara flotilla in 2010. Nine Turkish nationals, members of the IHH, were killed in a violent attack that they mounted against the Israel Navy’s efforts to prevent them from entering the Gaza port. As a result, the level of diplomatic relations between Israel and Turkey was lowered. After lengthy negotiations, the Mavi Marmara affair was resolved and in 2016, after a long break, Turkey and Israel renewed diplomatic relations.