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June 25, 2013 2:30 pm

Erdogan Delays Gaza Visit Due to Protests

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Can Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, pictured, weather the storm of Turkey protests that erupted over the weekend? Photo: World Economic Forum. Embattled Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the recent protests against his government have delayed his plans to visit Gaza in the near future.

“Gaza is ready. We could not be ready because of the (protests),” Erdogan said, the Associated Press reported.

But Erdogan added that he still intends to visit the region and could “make a surprise [visit] any time.”

During his nearly decade-long tenure as Turkey’s prime minister, Erdogan has been an outspoken critic of Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians, eventually leading to a rift between the two formerly close allies after the May 2010 Gaza flotilla incident.

American officials fear that if Erdogan travels to Gaza and meets with Hamas, the Palestinian terror group in control of the territory, it could cause serious friction between Turkey and Israel and threaten the American-brokered truce between the two countries.

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