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August 6, 2013 7:35 pm

Egypt Denies Erdogan Access to Gaza Strip

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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: World Economic Forum. Islamist Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will not be visiting Gaza later this month, as he had planned, reportedly due to Egyptian military authorities’ refusal to allow him to enter the Hamas-controlled territory through the Egyptian border.

The denial by Egypt’s military authorities was due to Erdogan’s continuous criticism of the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi and of the new interim military-backed government, Al-Ahram reported.

Erdogan, who hails from the Islamist Justice and Development Party, has maintained close relations with the Muslim Brotherhood as well as its Palestinian offshoot, Hamas. Erdogan has also been a fierce critic of Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians. Erdogan’s visit to Gaza was intended to pressure Israel to end its naval blockade of the territory.

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