The ongoing violence between Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East will not cease until a two-state solution is agreed upon, ensuring the establishment of a free and independent State of Palestine, according to Dr. Numan Kurtulmus, the newly-elected speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly. Speaking in Istanbul on Sunday, Kurtulmus emphasized the necessity of Palestinian independence in bringing an end to the turmoil in the region.
“It is now obvious that there is no other way than this two-state solution,” he stated. Kurtulmus also urged adherence to United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, which called for Israeli withdrawal from territories occupied during the Arab-Israeli War of 1967 in exchange for regional peace.
Kurtulmus, a member of the ruling Justice and Development Party in Turkey, has been known for his strong criticisms of Israel in the past, referring to the nation as “Zionist killers” and a “terrorist state.” However, his recent meeting with the head of the Israeli Knesset in Ireland signals a potential shift towards normalizing relations between Turkey and Israel.
While Turkey seeks to establish more normalized relations with Israel, Hamas, the Palestinian militant group, opposes such efforts. Their recent violent incursion into Israel has escalated tensions in the region, leading to a surge in conflict. Hamas has consistently voiced its opposition to any foreign states seeking to thaw relations with Israel.
Amidst the ongoing conflict, Israel’s Ambassador to Turkey, Irit Lillian, stated that it is premature to discuss mediation efforts between Israel and Hamas. With hundreds of casualties and Israel officially declaring a war, the focus now is on addressing the fatalities and healing the wounded. Lillian emphasized that there is no room for terrorists to direct or command acts from any country in the world, strengthening the argument against Hamas having an office or engaging in any activities in Turkey or elsewhere.
It is worth noting that Ankara does not designate Hamas as a terrorist organization, indicating differing perspectives on the group’s status.
Achieving peace in the Middle East remains a challenging and complex issue. The recognition and establishment of a fully independent State of Palestine is seen by Kurtulmus as the only viable solution to ending the ongoing violence. The adherence to UN resolutions and efforts towards normalizing relations between Israel and Turkey may offer some hope for progress, but the road to a lasting peace is likely to be long and arduous.