Four years ago this coming Tuesday, a group of Hamas operatives murdered Eitam and Naama Henkin while they were driving with their children. Earlier this week, the four children—who were injured but survived the attack—filed suit in a federal court against the Turkish bank Kuveyt Turk, which they accuse of providing financial assistance to Hamas. (Since Eitam Henkin had American citizenship, the case can be tried in the U.S.) Jonathan Schanzer and Aykan Erdemir write:
The lawsuit against this . . . bank, which counts the Turkish government as a shareholder, comes two weeks after the U.S. Treasury sanctioned eleven Turkey-linked entities and individuals for supporting Hamas and other jihadist outfits. . . . Between 2012 and 2015, Tehran [too] relied on Turkish banks and a gold trader with dual Iranian-Turkish citizenship to circumvent U.S. sanctions at the height of Washington’s efforts to thwart the Islamic Republic’s nuclear ambitions. It was the biggest sanctions-evasions scheme in recent history.
Turkey has also proved a forgiving host to terrorists. . . . Islamic State terrorists continued to operate from Turkish territory well into 2018. . . . Saleh Arouri, the Hamas military commander responsible for the 2014 kidnapping and killing of three teens in the West Bank, spearheaded that operation from Turkish soil. . . . Arouri is just one of many Hamas operatives who have operated in Turkey. In 2011, ten Hamas operatives released by Israel as part of a prisoner exchange arrived in Turkey, and many remain active there.
It’s already clear that Erdogan’s Turkey has become a permissive jurisdiction for illicit and terror finance. But this new case on behalf of an American victim of terrorism and members of his family could finally begin to hold the regime in Turkey responsible.