Investigation: Turkey Turns ‘Blind Eye’—Sometimes Encourages—Hamas Illicit Activity

Turkish citizen Celim Tekeli, who was arrested for aiding Hamas terrorists. Photo courtesy of the ISA.

A Turkish citizen arrested in Israel for working with Hamas has helped unleash an investigation that led to accusations on Monday that Turkey has been ignoring—and at times enabling—Hamas fundraising and militaristic activity and has even indirectly allowed the terror group opportunity to research weapons for fighting Israel. The delve into the activities of Cemil Tekeli of Turkey found that not only has the law lecturer aided Hamas in his home country—including helping them get visas, set up business and even buy luxury vehicles—but so have some people who had key connections in the Turkish government.

In one example, the Israel Security Agency (ISA) said in the press release that “Turkey contributes to the military strengthening of Hamas” through the SADAT company that was set up at the request of an advisor who is “close to Turkish administration officials.”

Not only can SADAT provide money to Hamas, but an employee of SADAT even assisted senior Hamas officials attend a weapons show in Turkey a few years ago. There, the terrorist organization showed interest in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), also known as drones. Said the ISA press release, “The company was founded to assist—with funds and war materiel—the creation of the ‘Palestine Army’, the goal of which is to fight Israel.” And it doesn’t end there.

A Hamas terrorist involved in the kidnapping of IDF soldier Nahshon Waxman actually has had direct contact with Turkish officials, according to the ISA investigation. Other Hamas terrorists who have killed Israelis and were released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap have found aid in Turkey from Tekeli, who was deported by Israel after the investigation into his activities was completed.

Meanwhile, Turkey is also the site of a Hamas scheme that has laundered millions of US dollars via the IMES company, which managed to keep the source of the funds secret from the authorities.

A significant portion of their ill-gotten money has been delivered to an Arab-Israeli, Dara’am Jabarin, who was also arrested for supporting Hamas. After being recruited in Tukey, Jabarin was tasked with bringing money for Hamas into Judea and Samaria, also known as the West Bank. Jabarin received hundreds of thousands of Euros for militaristic purposes and 91,000 Euros were found in his home in Israel.

Hamas has sought for years to rebuild a terror infrastructure in the Judea and Samaria region, so it’s not difficult to guess at the intended endgame for the funds. In view of these activities, Israel levied a sharp condemnation of Turkey’s troubling relationship with Hamas.

“The findings of the investigation underscore the fact that Hamas’ ramified economic and military activity in Turkey takes place unhindered as Turkish officials turn a blind eye and—on occasion—encourage it, and with the assistance of Turkish nationals, some of whom are close to the government,” said the ISA. “This activity relies on—inter alia—business platforms that serve Hamas in laundering funds that are transferred to Judea and Samaria and used in recruiting Israelis to its ranks.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, February 12, 2018)

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