Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal gave a surprise speech at the ruling Islamist AK party's general conference in Konya, Turkey.
Khaled Mashaal, the head of the terrorist organization Hamas, made a surprise appearance in Turkey on Friday, at the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK party) annual general meeting on December 27.
At the general congress meeting of the ruling Islamist party in the town of Konya, Mashaal delivered a speech praising Turkey's leaders and damning Israel. He congratulated the Turkish people "for having Davutoğlu and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan" and praised Konya as the "city of heroes."
At the same conference, the AK party unveiled a new campaign song in honor of Davutoglu, the current Prime Minister, praising him as the grandson of the Ottomans. The Ottoman Empire at its peak ruled most of the Middle East as well as large parts of Europe and northern Africa.
The lyrics of the song read, "Who is the man? Who is the brave, the righteous and the honest one? Who? Who? Davutoğlu Ahmet Hoca, a wise man, a brave man."
They continue, "The whole world knows him / He has no problem with history. / He is a true grandson of the Ottomans."
This is not the first time that the Turkish leadership has praised their Ottoman heritage. Davotuglu said in a speech at the beginning of November that "Al-Quds [Jerusalem] has been entrusted with us by [Muslim caliph] Hazrat Omar. Al-Quds has been entrusted to us by [Ottoman Sultan] Yavuz Sultan Selim and [Ottoman Sultan] Süleyman the Magnificent. Al-Quds has been entrusted to us by the last soldier of the Ottomans."
It should therefore come as no surprise that Davotuglu is being praised as the grandson of the Ottomans at the same AK party conference that Hamas head Khaled Mashaal called for the destruction of Israel saying, "Inshallah [Allah willing], we will liberate Palestine and Jerusalem again in the future."
Palestinian flags can be seen very prominently in the music video which accompanies Davotuglu's campaign song.
The AK party's understanding of Turkey's Ottoman past is bound up in the same Islamist romanticized notion of the caliphate espoused by the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Hamas is an affiliate – that is, to re-establish the caliphate that was abolished in 1924.
At the same time as putting forward an Islamist platform, Erdogan and his AK party are cracking down on civil liberties and dissent in Turkey. Last week a new law was proposed which would allow the prime minister and the communications minister the right to block access to or remove content from any website they declare as endangering “national security and public order.”
Yet despite introducing fresh legislation to curtail freedom of expression and rounding up and arresting many prominent opposition journalists, on December 26, Erdogan made a statement saying that Turkey has the freest press in the world.
"Nowhere in the world is the press freer than it is in Turkey," Erdogan said in a televised speech. "I’m very sure of myself when I say this."
Campaign Video for Davotuglu