The activists who were onboard the Mavi Marmara boat that came under a violent Israeli attack in international waters gathered together in Üsküdar, Istanbul for a fast-breaking dinner organization. They joined iftar dinner offered at the wharf and were happy to see each other once again. The families of the activists who were killed in the attack also attended the organization. Portraits of the victims were hung on the platform.
The event started with recitations from the Quran and resumed with iftar dinner. Bülent Yıldırım, head of the IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, delivered a speech and noted they would found an association named after the Mavi Marmara incident.
Those who took part in the flotilla campaign were brave, freedom fighters who sacrificed everything they had for the sake of the cause, Yıldırım said.
There are a number of regions worldwide that are under blockade, but we are primarily focusing on the Gaza blockade, he said and recalled they organized the “Mavi Marmara” flotilla but it suffered from Israeli pressure.
Mavi Marmara to make history
The three ships will never be forgotten but only one of them was aired live across the world, he said:
“The first ship is Noah’s Arc. It symbolizes the salvage of all the living. The second ship is Titanic that symbolizes impertinence, greediness for wealth, rebellion against Allah, and what befalls one as a consequence. The third ship is Mavi Marmara. This ship is a symbol of freedom. It has made history. The massacre by Israel has also gone down in history. Israel for the first committed a massacre before the eyes of the world.”
The IHH leader pointed out that world leaders who used to cooperate with Israel were now shunning cooperation with Israel for the fear of reaction from their own publics, adding “If Israel refuses to lift the embargo, we will commence preparations for at least 50 vessels from the United States, Canada, Europe and the Middle East.”
‘We expect a positive report from the UN commission’
The European Commission on Human Rights spoke to us about the raid, Yıldırım said “The commission went to see the ship docked at the İskenderun port. The Human Rights Commission will publish its report on September 27. If they report what they saw here, the United Nations will clear doubts cast on its role. Because the United Nations released two statements saying ‘That area is within Palestinian waters. Israel did not have the right to control it.’ In other words, it called Israel a ‘pirate.’ We were sailing towards Egyptian waters. After detaining us, Israel forced the ships to sail to Israeli waters. And it claimed that (We detained them because they were sailing in our national waters.”
‘Passports of our friends were confiscated’
Israel confiscated passport of 22 of our friends, Yıldırım stated “This country uses passports it confiscates in assassinations it carries out in other countries,” and added: “We are now naming the holders of these passports, so it will be known if Israel attempts to use them.”
Yıldırım said “Our friends who were killed in the Mavi Marmara raid will not be forgotten. We are founding Mavi Marmara Association. This association will include Mavi Marmara activists.”
Aid ship to be sent to Pakistan
Yıldırım stated that the IHH was preparing to send 3000 tons of humanitarian aid to flood-hit Pakistan with a ship, and added: “Our slogan is ‘Humanitarian Aid Our Load, Pakistan Our Destination.’ The target of the last campaign was Palestine. Once the ship reaches its destination we will say: This is how Israel reacted to incoming aid, and this is how Pakistan embraced it. Learn how to act like human beings.” The event ended after Yıldırım’s speech.