Terrorism in the Middle East : a comparison of Al-Qaeda and Hamas

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Graduate School of Social Sciences, Middle East Studies, Turkey

Approval Date: 2019

Thesis Language: English

Student: Sevinç Ebru Temel

Supervisor: Richard Dietrich


The aim of this thesis is to analyze al-Qaeda and Hamas, which are two of the organizations that come to mind when it comes to terrorist activities in Middle East, compare them under headings including their ideologies, goals, spheres of influence, their position in the international arena, and, finally, introduce a new and realistic approach to the perception of terrorism in the Middle East by revealing the mistaken belief and ideas about Hamas. It is seen that there has appeared a tendency of using terrorism side by side with Islam especially due to the bloody terrorist acts of alQaeda and that Hamas has been affected with this perception. There are still arguments claiming that Hamas should be included in the list of terrorist organizations, although the perception of it in world public opinion has begun to change after it joined the parliament following its becoming a political party after 2006, and as a result of election victory. Therefore, in this study, it has been attempted to reveal the differences between Hamas, and al-Qaeda, whose terrorist character is so obvious, and which identifies itself with Islam, by comparing the two, and "what Hamas is" and "what it is not" are both examined. This study has revealed that uniform evaluations made on Hamas with a reductionist approach cannot present an objective analysis, and thus there emerged a need to conduct realistic academic studies which focus on the essence of Hamas that is missing in the literature and is not affected by personal feelings.