Ankara, 22 October 2023 (TDI): Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan discussed the Gaza crisis on a phone call with Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, on Saturday.

According to the statement released by the Turkish Foreign Ministry, President Erdogan told Haniyeh about Turkey’s efforts for a ceasefire, humanitarian aid to reach civilians in Gaza, and possible treatment of the wounded in Turkey.

Since the start of the conflict on 7 October between Hamas and Israel, Erdogan has criticized Israel’s attacks on Gaza as being “disproportionate” and “devoid of any ethical foundation”. He urged people not to “blindly” support one side.

Inability to resolve underlying issues may lead to new, violent conflicts, he warned.

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Previously, On Wednesday while addressing Israel’s electricity cut off and water supply to Gaza, Erdogan said, “Preventing people meeting their most fundamental needs and bombing housing where civilians live – in short, conducting a conflict using every sort of shameful method – is not a war, it’s a massacre.”

“We call on countries in the Americas, Europe and other regions to take up a position between the parties that is fair, just, and based on humanitarian balances,” he said.

He continued, “Everyone should refrain from acts that will wholly punish the Palestinian people, like blocking humanitarian aid.”

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In addition to diplomatic efforts, Turkey is actively involved in supplying Gaza with humanitarian aid. Despite the logistical difficulties posed by closed borders, a convoy of 20 trucks was able to enter Gaza on the same day as Erdogan’s phone call with Hamas leader Haniyeh from the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing. This was the first time since the start of the current conflict that such aid was delivered.