FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show Turkish Military Ships And Helicopters Arriving In Palestinian Territory In May 2021?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows Turkish military ships and helicopters just as they “land in Palestine” during this month’s Israel-Hamas conflict.

Verdict: False

The photo dates back to at least 2008, more than a decade before the conflict between Israel and Hamas broke out this month. There is no indication the image is connected to the 2021 Israel-Hamas conflict.

Fact Check:

The picture shows a line of warships, one of which displays the Turkish flag, cruising through the water while a squadron of helicopters fly above. In the caption, the May 18 Facebook post alleges, “TURKEY MILITARY JUST THEY LAND IN PALESTINE….. More victory!!!!”

Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas had a violent 11-day conflict earlier this month in which at least 248 people in Hamas-controlled Gaza and 13 people in Israel were killed, Reuters reported. Turkey, as well as some other countries in the region, have condemned Israel’s airstrikes on Gaza, according to The New York Times.

Check Your Fact didn’t find any evidence the photo in question depicts Turkish military ships and helicopters as they “land in Palestine” in May. A reverse image search instead revealed the picture dates back over a decade, well before this month’s Israel-Hamas conflict started. (RELATED: Does This Image Show An Israeli Soldier Kneeling On A Palestinian Child’s Neck?)

The picture appears in a 2008 article about Turkey’s weapons industry on the website of Aberfoyle International Security, which describes itself as a “Toronto based consultancy specializing in the analysis of security issues in the Islamic world.” It can also be found in a 2012 article, titled “Turkey capable of building own navy,” published by the English-language Turkish news outlet Hurriyet Daily News, which describes it as a “file photo” of “Turkish naval ships” and as an “AA Photo.”

Photos that resemble the Facebook image have been taken during Turkish military exercises in the past. For instance, the Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency published photos from military exercises involving Turkish forces that took place in the Aegean Sea in 2017 and 2018.

There is no indication in credible media reports that Turkish military forces landed in Palestinian territory during this month’s Israel-Hamas conflict. On Monday, Check Your Fact debunked a video that social media users falsely claimed showed the Turkish Army arriving in Palestinian territory.

Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Reporter
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