As NATO ‘Ally’ Turkey Snuggles Even More Closely with Islamic Terrorist Organization, State Dept Spokesman Tongue-Tied

The latest version of the U.S. State Department ventriloquist dummy – perhaps just temporary and giving Jen Psaki and Marie Harf time to recuperate from lying on a daily basis – is Jeff Rathke. This week, he’s found himself in the very difficult position of having to respond to questions about why NATO ‘ally’ Turkey is embracing Hamas leadership.

When first confronted, Rathke had no answer and said he would later, via CNS News:

The next day, Rathke acknowledged the warming ties between Turkey and Hamas but offered little else:

Something major very well may be going on in the world of geopolitics. When it comes to harboring Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood terrorists, there have been perhaps no greater allies than Turkey and Qatar. Yet, earlier this month, shortly after Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani visited Turkey and met with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Qatar publicly broke from its alliance with Turkey over the very contentious issue of relations with Egypt.

Erdogan still hasn’t gotten over the Muslim Brotherhood’s removal from power there. As has reported for some time, Turkey has been a welcome refuge to Muslim Brotherhood leaders who fled Egypt after the removal of Mohammed Mursi.

A consequence of the easing of these relations between Egypt and Qatar is that Turkey is now having to pick up the slack of embracing Hamas leaders. The last time Qatar showed the consequences of obvious pressure to do something about its cozy ties with the Brotherhood was in the days after Mursi’s removal. However, it never really did much.

As for the latest developments, CNS News reports:

The Turkish boost for Hamas may be linked to broader political shifts in the region.

Although Turkey under the AKP has been a longstanding supporter of Hamas, it has generally been seen as a step behind Qatar, which has poured millions of dollars into the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and has provided a base for Meshaal and Hamas’ “political bureau” since early 2012.

Qatar’s strong backing for Hamas – and for the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) of which Hamas is an affiliate – caused a serious rift between the small Gulf state and Arab nations opposed to the Brotherhood, primarily Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt under President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Since last fall, however, Qatar has been trying to mend those ties.

It expelled MB figures, and then this month suspended operations in Egypt of a pro-Brotherhood television channel, an Al-Jazeera affiliate. (Supporters of three Al-Jazeera journalists jailed in Egypt a year ago after being convicted of aiding the MB hope they may soon be freed as part of the rapprochement between Doha and Cairo.)

Last week, a day after a Qatari envoy met with Sisi in Cairo, Gulf media reported that Qatar may temporarily suspend funding of Hamas. Analysts wonder whether a Meshaal move to Turkey could be on the cards.

“In the wake of the recent reconciliation between Egypt and Qatar, rumors have spread in Gaza that Qatar may ask Meshaal, who lives in Doha, Qatar, to leave Qatar to placate Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi,” Yoni Ben Menachem, a senior Middle East analyst for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, wrote on Monday.

“The Egyptian leader regards Hamas as an enemy and as part of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been declared a terrorist movement in Egypt. Among the possible sites mentioned for Meshaal’s new headquarters was Turkey.”

As reported, regardless of how much Qatar wants to be a Muslim Brotherhood ally with Turkey, it’s a very small country that is part of the a much larger Gulf region that includes Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States that are opposing terrorist groups like Hamas out of necessity and the need for survival.

If Qatar had the ability to pick up and move out of the region and become a small peninsula of Turkey it probably would. As it stands, it’s tied to Saudi Arabia like a Siamese twin and whether it likes it or not, as goes the larger Arabian peninsula, so goes Qatar.

As for the matter of the U.S. supporting a NATO ally that supports a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), has been arguing for quite a while that Turkey should be booted from NATO.


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