ŞANLIURFA – Anatolia News Agency
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sat down for breakfast today with Ahed Tamimi, a 13-year-old Palestinian girl who gained worldwide fame after challenging Israeli troops who arrested her brother.
Erdoğan received Tamimi and her mother, Neriman Tamimi, at his hotel in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa. Erdoğan spoke with the pair for a while and gave several gifts to the family.
Speaking to Anatolia news agency after the breakfast, Ahed Tamimi said she had had a breakfast with a prime minister for the first time in her life.
"I thanked Prime Minister Erdoğan for his hospitality and his support for Palestine," she said.
Tamimi was awarded with the "Handala Courage Award" in Istanbul on Dec. 26.
Visiting Turkey as a guest of Istanbul’s Başakşehir Municipality, the girl attended a series of events ahead of the award ceremony and opened an art exhibition titled "Being a child in Palestine.”
During the ceremony, she thanked Turkish children for welcoming her while also calling on Palestinian children to stand tall, while also saying she brandished her fist at Israeli soldiers in the thought that she could make Palestine free.
Tamimi also told the agency that she said she would like to become a lawyer in order to contribute to the Palestinian issue.
The Handala Courage Award, handed out by the Basaksehir Municipality, was named after the cartoon character Handala created by Palestinian cartoonist Naji Salim al-Ali, who is noted for his political criticism of Arab regimes and Israel in his works.
Handala, a 10-year-old boy, has become an icon of Palestinian identity and defiance.