Here is the IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation’s lawyers’ statement against Cumhuriyet newspaper’s unfounded claims about ISIS and al-Qaida militants transfer arms to Syria through IHH and similar allegations.
IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, an international NGO, which is actively operative in 136 countries and territories with 20 years of relief experience under its belt, has public welfare status and ECOSOC consultancy status to UN İHH. It makes sure to carry out all its activities transparently and in line with international law. All of our activities are monitored and checked by Independent Monitoring Council and official Turkish monitoring councils as well as our internal monitoring mechanisms.
Since 2011 IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation has been actively operative in Syria just like in other areas of conflict. Eighteen refugee camps in Syria rely on IHH’s efforts for maintenance. IHH is working day and night to help around 1 million refugees inside and around these camps to survive under harsh conditions of war.
Certain circles and organizations that are disturbed by our efforts in the region are carrying out a smear campaign against us. They are trying to associate individuals and organizations unrelated to IHH as if they are involved with us and trying to picture as if IHH has a role in illegal acts and activities. It is observed as a part of black smear campaign that they mention IHH’s name along with illegal organizations and that people involved in illegal crimes along the border name IHH as their culprit for vindication. Unfortunately due to busy and widely known activities of IHH in the region many individuals unrelated to our foundation portray themselves as if involved with IHH. Even human traffickers or smugglers attempt to portray themselves as IHH volunteer or worker in order to get away with their crimes.
We would like to inform you that IHH takes its partner organizations and its official workers to the daily events and aid distribution following the appropriate international entrance and exit procedures applied by Turkish authorities. And these numbers is very limited. IHH and Republic of Turkey holds the official records of when and who entered and exited Syria in IHH teams and what kind of and what amount of relief supplies they carried and at what time.
However it is publicly known that since Mavi Marmara incident IHH is the object of a smear campaign and there has been attempt to even frame IHH for crimes unrelated to it. These clandestine efforts were disclosed during 17-25 February events. Undoubtedly regarding this issue intelligence of countries, who are bothered by IHH’s activities, exploits press and social media in order to get rid of IHH.
We have sharing our reports and legal actions in the press and social media with Turkish and international community. Hundreds of unfounded claims in the news were refuted as a result of our appeal to the court which has subsequently fined the media outlets making those false allegations. Regarding the news published in Cumhuriyet newspaper from the headlines, we have already taken necessary legal action. We would like to shout out to all media outlets not to recklessly override the rights of the suffering, the oppressed, the needy, the refugees and orphans on the bases of unfounded claims and false allegations. IHH is a relief organization which helps out to the suffering and needy people. No one can stop the aids to the suffering Syrian people with false news on IHH in the month of Ramadan where the solidarity and helping each other is the strongest.
IHH Humanitarian Relief Organization’s Lawyer
Att. Uğur Yıldırım