Members of Ozgurder, Mazlumder and IHH protested against Israel for taking Izzet Sahin, a citizen of Turkey, into custody. Protesters from NGOs who gathered in Sarachane Park in Fatih, Istanbul, received enormous support from the general public. Sahin’s wife and children also joined the protest.
Protesters were carrying signs that read: “Izzet Sahin Should Be Set Free”, “Freedom For Izzet Sahin”, “Zionist Oppressors Cannot Stop Us From Helping Gaza”. Protesters also chanted slogans against Israel.
A Call For Action To Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ridvan Kaya, President of Ozgurder, pointing out the fact that Izzet Sahin, kept in custody since 27th of April, is a national of Turkey first of all, said “We know that Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been carrying out attempts for Izzet Sahin’s release. But, he has remained in custody for 12 days. Israel postponed the court hearing for another week in order to extend the length of custody. This is an insult to Turkey, which means that Israel has the ability to arrest Turkish nationals whenever she wishes. It means that Israel can accuse our citizens of anything she wishes. This should never be tolerated.”
Ridvan Kaya also mentioned of Rachael Corrie who has bravely lost her life under Israeli tanks while carrying out humanitarian aid work in West Bank and likened Izzet Sahin to Corrie.
Following Kaya’s speech, Yavuz Dede, Vice President of IHH said “We have been helping Palestine since the day our foundation was established. We are, now, going to help the people of Palestine who have been under Israeli embargo, by ships. Israel cannot make us give up on this.”
At the press conference co-held by the NGOs at the end of the protest, Kehribar Eklin said “Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs should not only deliver the message to Israel behind closed doors but also say it out loud before the general public that what Israel has been doing is unacceptable and Izzet Sahin should be set free immediately.”
The protest ended uneventfully.