Turkey is carrying out negotiations regarding civilians held by the Palestinian Hamas after its attack on Israel, a senior Turkish official on Oct. 11 told Reuters, as Ankara ramped up efforts and diplomacy to mediate the conflict.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the talks were being carried out by Turkey's relevant institutions upon orders by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, but provided no further details.
State television TRT confirmed the claim of “hostage negotiations" with Hamas. However, TRT's social media posts regarding the news were deleted after a while.
NTV, a Turkish TV channel close to the government, also reported, "It was learned that Erdoğan held talks with Hamas officials in Ankara.”
Erdoğan's ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) radical Islamist ally Free Cause Party (HÜDA-PAR) on Oct. 11 held a joint press conference with Hamas representatives in Turkish Parliament.
On the morning of Oct. 7, al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, launched a comprehensive attack on Israel. Israeli officials reported that 1,200 Israelis were killed in the attacks.
The number of Palestinians who lost their lives in Israel's attacks on the areas mostly populated by civilians in Gaza increased to 1,100 while the number of those killed in the attacks in the West Bank increased to 28.
President Erdoğan repeatedly stated that Turkey wanted to act as a negotiator between the parties. He also held phone conversations with several regional leaders as well.
According to Egyptian security sources, talks between Egypt and the United States, Qatar, and Turkey discussed the idea of delivering humanitarian aid through the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt's Sinai Peninsula under a geographically limited ceasefire.
Turkey's president said work had started to deliver aid without elaborating.
Gaza has been under complete blockade since the Israeli attacks, leaving two million Gazans without access to basic necessities.