The groups gathered at Taksim square on 27 December, the one year anniversary of the brutal Israeli offensive into Gaza, to condemn Israel and display support to the Gaza aid convoy waiting in the Jordanian port of Aqaba. Human rights advocates delivered speeches on behalf of the Friends of Palestine Platform, which is formed by a number of nongovernmental organizations. Cüneyt Sarıyaşar deputy head of Mazlum-Der, said Israel has committed unacceptable crimes against humanity in Gaza for three years and added: “Israel has proved what a brutal force it is to the whole world with the Gaza attacks. It has practicing unimaginable, brutal genocidal methods on the Gazan people. They could not even bear the convoy we sent from here with our brothers and sisters. But they should not forget that we are going there as people who believe in Prophet Musa [Moses].”
Gaza guarding its honor
Özgür-Der President Rıdvan Kaya highlighted the honorable stance of Gaza in the face of every kind of hardship, while collaborators like Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak have taken a dishonorable stance despite wide opportunities at their disposal.
Journalist Abdurrahman Dilipak indicated the importance of doing away with our internal divisions in order to prevail over Israel and added: “If we want to beat Israel we should first stand side by side. Our biggest enemy is our self. Gaza has turned into a school for the Islamic umma and has never been so isolated since the establishment of Israel.”
Bülent Yıldırım, president of the IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, who is with Gaza convoy in Aqaba, addressed the crowd in a phone-in speech. Yıldırım noted the convoy organization has made a tremendous impression, adding “Egypt is now confused about what to do. It has attracted reaction from around the world. The extent of Egyptian support to the embargo was revealed by the convoy initiative. It is telling us to turn back to Syria and go to Gaza by sea. It will make us travel another 1,000 kilometers. Egypt is doing whatever it can to stop us. An Egyptian official claims we have not handed in our travel route. Are you deaf or blind? We have been talking about our route for weeks. We will not consider turning back in any case. Just know this.”
The protesters burned the Israeli flag and shouted anti-Israeli slogans. They later marched to the Egyptian consulate in Levent district and protested Egypt here.