Turkey

New designations recently published by the US Department of State and Department of the Treasury reveal Turkey’s central role as a hub from which Hamas handles its financial matters, including funding terrorist networks in Judea and Samaria

In the designations published by the US Department of the Treasury, Turkey occupies a prominent place as a hub in which and from which terrorist organizations, including Hamas, run their financial activities. According to the American report, Hamas operatives and facilitators in Turkey are engaged in fundraising and money transfer to Hamas’s military wing in the Gaza Strip, funding terrorist networks in Judea and Samaria, and operating currency exchange and wire transfer companies in Turkey, which launder terror funds
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Spotlight on Iran (September 8, 2019 – September 22, 2019)

On September 16, the fifth round of talks between the presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey concerning Syria’s future was held in Ankara. Dozens of Iranian companies participated in the fifth Damascus International Fair on reconstruction of the country, which was held in the Syrian capital in mid-September. Following attacks attributed to Israel against targets in western Iraq and ongoing escalation between Iran and the United States, Iran and the Shi’ite militias in Iraq are expanding their coordination. Iran rejected U.S. claims about its direct involvement is striking two oil facilities in Saudi Arabia on September 14. Despite the responsibility claim by the Houthi rebels in Yemen, the United States blamed Iran for the attack, which significantly disrupted Saudi Arabia’s oil output.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (September 5-11, 2019)

With the exception of several local shooting incidents, as at September 10, 2019, the unilateral ceasefire announced by the Syrian army in the Idlib area is being maintained. According to a report by the Turkish Ministry of Defense, as part of the first phase of the plan to establish the safe zone along the Syrian-Turkish border, joint patrols by US and Turkish army forces along the Syria-Turkey border have begun. ISIS’s terrorist and guerilla warfare activities continued in Syria and Iraq. ISIS’s provinces in Africa and Asia continued to carry out “routine” attacks. This week, attacks were reported in the Sinai Peninsula, Afghanistan, Nigeria, the Philippines, and Yemen.
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (August 22-28, 2019)

During the past week, the Syrian army took over the entire rural area north of Hama. In the meantime, the Turkish force, which arrived in the region on August 19, 2019, continues to establish its presence on Highway M-5. In the Iraqi arena, ISIS’s intensive activity continues, as does the Iraqi security operation to mop up the northern and western parts of the country. ISIS’s provinces in Africa and Asia continued their “routine” attacks.
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Developments in the Idlib Region (Updated to the morning of August 20, 2019)

During the past two weeks the Syrian army scored a series of victories southwest of the Idlib region, the first of their kind since the ground offensive at the beginning of May 2019. Syrian army forces took control of a number of villages west and northwest of the city of Khan Sheikhoun. Syrian advance forces entered the western outskirts of the city and set up a roadblock on the M5 highway (the Damascus-Hama-Aleppo road)
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Spotlight on Global Jihad (August 1-7, 2019)

On August 2, 2019, the Syrian army announced a ceasefire in the Idlib area following the statement that was made by participants of the Astana meeting (August 1, 2019). The Astana statement called for a calm on the ground in the Idlib area based on the implementation of the Sochi Memorandum The ceasefire lasted four days until the Syrian army announced the resumption of military activity. Following the Syrian army’s announcement, exchanges of fire in the Idlib area resumed. In the Iraqi arena, ISIS’s intensive activity in the various provinces continues. On August 3, 2019, ISIS renewed its Raids of Attrition campaign in Syria, Iraq and the various provinces around the globe. Intensive activity in Afghanistan was the major part of ISIS’s attacks around the globe. In addition, “routine” attacks by ISIS operatives continued in the Sinai Peninsula, Nigeria, Niger, Mozambique, Somalia, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Yemen.
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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.