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Turkiye rejects Israel's request to deport Hamas leaders

Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara, Turkiye. [Murat Gök /Anadolu Agency]
Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara, Turkiye. [Murat Gök /Anadolu Agency]

Turkiye has rejected Israel's request that it deport Hamas leaders living in the country, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday.

Responding to a question from MPs, Cavusoglu said Turkiye does not view Hamas as a terror group and refused to expel the movement's members.

"We did not satisfy any [Israeli] request on Hamas, because we do not perceive Hamas as a terror group," Cavusoglu said.

"We are always leading efforts to unify them with Fatah," he added, referring to Hamas' political rival, which dominates the Palestinian Authority (PA).

In October Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz asked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to expel Hamas leaders living in the country during a visit to Ankara.

Since 2020, Israeli officials have demanded Turkiye take concrete measures to address the presence of Hamas leaders in the country.

READ: Israel DM to demand Turkiye expel Hamas leaders, stop criticism of military operations in the West Bank

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