In October 2023, rumors circulated on social media platforms, suggesting that Turkey dispatched a warship to Gaza to protect Palestinians. This rumor gained traction during the conflict between Israel and Hamas, which was initiated after a sudden attack by Hamas on Israel from Gaza on October 7, 2023.
A post on X (previously Twitter) on October 24, 2023, asserted, “Turkey directs a warship to Gaza in defense of Palestinian civilians amid the current Israeli conflict.”
The video was found to be inaccurately labeled upon investigation, as the footage had been available on YouTube for over ten years. Moreover, while the audio accompanying the video on X was extracted from authentic news broadcasts, significant details had been altered.
The rumor gained momentum when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in a speech on October 25, 2023, affirmed that he did not view Hamas as a terrorist group, subsequently canceling a scheduled visit to Israel.
It’s important to note that the U.S. classified Hamas as a terrorist organization in 1997, a designation shared by the European Union and several other Western countries. Historically, the relationship between Turkey and Israel has been tumultuous, primarily due to Israel’s stance on Gaza, as per the Council on Foreign Relations.
Further examination of the viral video led to the discovery of a YouTube clip from May 22, 2013, named “U.S. Navy – X-47B UCAS First Touch & Go Landing Tests On USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77).” This video was identical to the one purportedly showcasing a Turkish warship.
The Turkish President on Monday cautioned Israel about the non-selective targeting of civilians in its conflict with Gaza’s Hamas militants. The proximity of a Turkish carrier strike group to Israel is indicative of deteriorating ties, and it remains uncertain if these relations will ever stabilize.
Further research unveiled a video titled “Israel-Palestine war: Erdogan warns U.S. ships may escalate tensions in Gaza,” uploaded to World Is One News (WION) ‘s YouTube channel on October 11, 2023. The original audio from the WION video stated:
On Monday, the Turkish president cautioned Israel against targeting civilians in its conflict with Hamas in Gaza. However, [Erdoğan] also offered balanced criticism of Hamas, emphasizing the importance of war ethics for both parties.
The following day, Erdogan expressed concerns about the U.S. positioning a carrier strike group near Israel, asserting it could exacerbate the situation in Gaza. Observers believe this might strain the ties between the U.S. and its NATO ally, Turkey, to the point of no return.
Given the evidence, the claim that the video depicted Turkey dispatching a warship to Gaza to support Palestinians is inaccurately labeled.