The Hamas movement organized several demonstrations in the besieged Gaza Strip Saturday morning, rejecting Friday night’s attempted military coup in Turkey and expressing “joy” at its failure and congratulated Turkish people , while the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority also came out in support of the Turkish government’s “triumph of democracy.”
Demonstrations started in the Khan Younis area of the southern Gaza Strip, where participants raised Turkish flags and posters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Anadolu Agency reported that Hundreds of people took to the streets in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon on Saturday to celebrate the failure of a coup attempt by a renegade faction of Turkey’s military.
This is a victory for democracy, freedom and stability, the statement said. The statement pointed to Turkey’s positions in support of the Palestinian people and cause especially its efforts to end Gaza siege. In the early morning of Saturday, an attempted Turkish military coup appeared to crumble after crowds answered President Erdogan’s call to take to the streets to support him.
“With the support of its people, Turkey has emerged victorious,” Gaza resident Mohamed Ashour, 50, told Anadolu Agency.
The father of seven went on to recount how he had surfed through television channels all night to follow the dramatic events in Turkey.
“News of the coup attempt came as a big shock,” he said. “But now the shock has turned to joy.”
Waving Turkish and Palestinian flags, hundreds of Palestinians gathered in the Gaza Strip’s southern city of Khan Younis on Saturday to voice support for Turkey’s elected government.
Some carried banners reading, “Gaza won’t forget those who stood by it” — a reference to the Turkish government’s longstanding support for the people of Gaza, who have suffered under a decade-long embargo imposed by Israel and Egypt.
“This is a message to our brothers in Turkey that the Palestinian people stand by you,” Yunus al-Astal, a leading member of Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, which has governed the strip since 2007, said.
Among the participants of the demonstrations were leaders of the Islamic political movement including Ismail Radwan and Mahir Sabra, as well as youth participants of the Hamas-run summer camps in the area.
Senior Hamas official Ismail Radwan gave a speech during one of those marches, expressing his Movement’s strong denunciation of what he described as “the outrageous coup attempt against the Turkish legitimate leadership.” Radwan hailed the Turkish people for standing by their wise leadership, and congratulated them on their victory over the coup and its plotters.
Radwan continued by praising the Turkish people for “preserving the democratic choice in their country,” drawing parallels between the current Turkish government, and the Hamas government in Gaza which was democratically elected to rule the besieged coastal enclave in 2006.
The Gaza Strip has suffered from an Israeli military blockade following Hamas’ victory in general elections and the violent conflict between Fatah and Hamas that ensued, leading to Hamas taking control of the government through an armed struggle.
Israeli and Turkish diplomatic relations fell apart after Israeli forces in 2010 attacked the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara — the first Freedom Flotilla, resulting in the deaths of ten Turkish activists attempting to deliver much-needed humanitarian aid to the besieged Gaza Strip. The incident sparked international outcry and severed diplomatic ties between the two countries.
The rapprochement deal which normalized diplomatic ties between Israel and Turkey allowed aid to arrive in the Gaza Strip this month via Israel’s Ashdod port as part of the brokered deal. The Turkish government has held long-term support for Hamas, while acting as a vocal critic of the Israeli blockade on Gaza.
Erdogan has defended the Hamas movement in the past, stating that the group is a legitimate political party and Israel’s label of Hamas as a “terrorist group” — along with the majority of Palestinian political factions — is aimed at eroding Palestinian democracy. Turkey was also one of the first countries in the world to officially recognize an independent Palestinian state.
Meanwhile, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki telephoned his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on behalf of President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Saturday, congratulating Turkey on “the triumph of democracy and the defeat of the coup plotters and their failure to convulse the stability of the Turkish republic,” according to a statement released by the Palestinian Authority’s Foreign Ministry.
On Friday night, renegade elements within Turkey’s military attempted to stage a coup against the government.
Although the coup was soon put down by the country’s legitimate authorities and security apparatus, roughly 160 people were martyred in the violence, according to Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.