From financial support for Hamas to exporting sanctioned materials to Russia, Ankara’s position angers Washington. Who knows, he should aim to reach an agreement with Erdogan
“We are deeply concerned.” These are the words he uses Brian Nelson, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, to describe the US administration’s response to the behavior of Ankara, which is historically linked to Hamas, and which is also considered a factor in monetizing the Palestinian armed political group’s access to international financing. “We are concerned about Hamas’ ability to continue to raise funds or find financial support for its operations for potential future terrorist attacks here in Turkey,” Nelson said at a press conference in Istanbul.
The US Under Secretary of State explains that the main sources of economic support for the organization remain Iran, equity investments and donations from international charities, and that the United States has not detected further money flows from Hamas through Turkey since October 7. At least for now. Nelson warns that “Hamas will try to take advantage” of Turkey’s past goodwill toward it “when it raises more money.” Adding that despite the popular support shown by the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Sanctions against Hamas make it unlikely that Turkey will join US sanctions against the movement, and Washington expects Ankara to use its powers to limit Hamas’ access to its funds due to their use for terrorist purposes.
Even if the media like Financial Times He pays attention to Nelson’s intervention because it reaches a particularly difficult moment in relations between the two powers that are part of the Atlantic alliance. Washington’s clear pro-Israel stance actually puts it on a collision course with Ankara, whose leader has instead taken over. Locate “Israel”State of terrorism“, accusing the government Benjamin Netanyahu Committing war crimes and demanding the prosecution of the perpetrators of the indiscriminate military actions committed during the invasion of the Gaza Strip. A Turkish speech aimed at strengthening its position as a reference for the entire Islamic world.
But the Israeli-Palestinian issue is not the only point around which tensions have developed between the United States and Turkey recently. always Financial Times HOW REPORTS Nelson’s visit this week was not organized, at least originally, to warn Ankara about its relations with Hamas. The undersecretary’s primary task will be to manage “efforts to prevent, disrupt, and investigate commercial and financial activities that advance Russian participation in its war against Ukraine.” This vague definition refers to growing evidence showing that Turkey plays an intermediary role in purchasing military equipment for Moscow.
From January to September 2023, Turkey announced that it exported 45 different types of goods subject to sanctions for their potential military applications (products used for example in the construction of cruise missiles, drones and helicopters) worth $158 million, to Russia and five former Soviet countries. . This is three times higher than what was recorded in the same period in 2022, when the war began in Ukraine. And more than five times the average recorded in the period 2015-2021. Similar growth was also recorded in imports of these types of goods, which grew in the first nine months of this year by 60% compared to the 2015-2021 average.
Figures also provided by Nelson himself during one of his speeches: “In the last 18-24 months, unfortunately, we have seen a six-fold increase in the re-export of these components.” Dual useWhich is a major concern, across Türkiye. “We are trying to use all our power in the most creative ways to overcome this challenge.”
There are therefore many causes of friction between the West and Turkey, which can (and perhaps should) also be interpreted as negotiation issues and, in Ankara’s case, real sources of disagreement. impact. Especially in the context of the contemporary (and interconnected) negotiations for the purchase and sale of F-16 aircraft systems by Ankara and the latter’s ratification of Sweden’s accession to NATO.
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