President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with Hamas leadership in Istanbul on Aug. 22.
The group’s leader Ismail Haniyeh and its number two figure Saleh al-Arouri, who was designated as a terrorist by the U.S. and has a $5 million bounty on his head, attended the meeting.
Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MİT) head Hakan Fidan, Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun and presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın were also present.
The meeting was held amid escalated cross-border tensions between Israel and Hamas.
“The Egyptians, the Qataris and [U.N. Middle East envoy] Nickolay Mladenov have stepped up their efforts in order to restore calm, but calm can only come if Israel agrees to demands presented by Hamas and other factions,” a Palestinian official told Reuters on Aug. 21.