IHH and RAF have sent 33 truckloads of flour, 850 tons, to Syrian people who suffer from the ongoing war, hunger, cold and many other problems. The convoy of trucks carrying flour set out from İstanbul’s Bağcılar district on Thursday. IHH and RAF sent the aid to Syrians as part of the “Winter is coming… Bread and Blankets for Syria” aid campaign, which was launched by dozens of relief organizations in late 2012.
The trucks are expected to arrive in Hatay, Kilis, Şanlıurfa and other regions on the Turkish-Syrian border on Saturday. Once they reach the border, packages of flour will be delivered to the Syrians living in Aleppo, Hama, Homs, Latakia and rural parts of Damascus.
Speaking at a news conference before the convoy’s departure, IHH President Atty. Bülent Yıldırım said: “We have seen many wars, we have witnessed humanitarian tragedies in many countries but unfortunately we have seen the worst tragedy in Syria. Syria is a place where no words are left to say. People are dying in Syria, they feel cold and are hungry.”
We call on everyone to help Syria
Yıldırım said it is not important how people perceive the Syria issue. He said: “There has been a humanitarian tragedy in Syria for the past two years about which nobody talks about. There has always been a political debate on the crisis. When people are killed near our border, no matter what their ideology is, people have a responsibility to help them. As IHH, we have carried out relief efforts in many parts of the world and we continue to do so. We have been to many crisis-hit regions. When we take aid to a particular region, we take their needs into consideration. There is hunger and poverty in Syria now. We have focused on basic needs of people. We will take aid there accordingly. Children in Syria walk barefoot. People who live side by side with us are dying. We call on everyone to help Syria. Today, we are sending 850 tons of flour to Syria in cooperation with Qatar-based RAF. We will continue our efforts non-stop.”
IHH aims to send 1,000 trucks to Syria
IHH President Yıldırım said his foundation aims to send 1,000 truckloads of aid to Syria and 100 trucks have already been loaded with aid items. “Allah willing, we will load the remaining trucks. The aid sent to Syria by all the humanitarian aid foundations is the support given by the entire humanity to Syrian people,” he explained.
Qataris mobilized to help Syria
An official from RAF, Muhammad Salah, who also spoke at the news conference, said they gave a response to the Syrian refugees’ call for help by organizing a relief campaign. “Everyone has mobilized in our country to help the Syrian people in need. We named our aid campaign, ‘Damascus is calling us.’ We gave an ear to the voice coming from Damascus. We continue to send aid to the inner parts of Syria. We offer our thanks to IHH for helping us in the organization of our relief campaign. May Allah make it easy for this aid reach people who are in real need of them. May Allah help this aid, which was collected for Syrians, reach them easily. My Allah, please help our sisters and brothers in Syria, the newly-born, the pregnant, the women and all the people in the country,” he said.
Convoy set out with prayers from İstanbul mufti
İstanbul Mufti Associate Professor Rahmi Yaran, who also attended the program, said financial aid was collected for Syria following Friday prayers last week. “We launched an aid campaign for Syria as the Religious Affairs Directorate. A total of TL2.345 million was collected in all the mosques in İstanbul. But, the donations are not limited to this. The aid which is sent to Syria today is a manifestation of the Islamic brotherhood and means standing behind them,” he said. The mufti prayed after his speech and the aid convoy began its journey to Syrian border.