The radical Islamist Free Cause Party (HÜDA-PAR), an ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, held a rally on Sunday in eastern Batman province in support of Palestinian militant group Hamas’ “Aqsa Flood operation” against Israel, the Oct. 7 attacks that resulted in 1,200 Israeli deaths and 230 hostages.
During the event HÜDA PAR leader Zekeriya Yapıcıoğlu took the stage accompanied by individuals wearing uniforms of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, raising concerns about the glorification of a group listed as a terrorist organization by the EU and the US.
The the purpose of the rally was to support the Palestinian resistance against Israeli actions in Gaza.
According to the health ministry in Gaza, more than 11,000 people — mostly civilians — have been killed in four weeks of war in Gaza.
Yapıcıoğlu, in his address, criticized the recent summit held in Saudi Arabia between the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Arab League, denouncing the declaration that recognized the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
Notably, HÜDA-PAR Vice Chairman Serkan Ramanlı has also expressed support for Hamas’s actions, dismissing reports of Hamas killing Israeli civilians as “Zionist propaganda” and insisting on the need for independent verification of such incidents.
HÜDA-PAR’s close ties with President Erdoğan and its inclusion in an election alliance with Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have been sources of criticism for the Turkish government.
The party, founded in 2012 on the ashes of the outlawed Kurdish Hizbullah, has been involved in various controversies due to its radical stance.
While President Erdoğan also lauded Hamas as “liberators” fighting for their land in a speech last month, HÜDA-PAR demands a far more radical stance from the president, including rescinding of the recognition of the State of Israel by Turkey.