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Yildirim: We are not looking for a reconciliation with Israel
Bulent Yildirim, President of IHH, denied the press claims that say the Foundation is looking for ways to negotiate with Israel. Yildirim said “We are not searching for ways to negotiate with Israel,
Palestine, MiddleEast, Turkey 02.07.2010

Around 30 scholars who are members to the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) gathered for a dinner at IHH. Bulent Yildirim, President of IHH, in his speech during the dinner, made some statements regarding the Israeli attack on Mavi Marmara.

Yildirim, putting emphasis on the fact that Israel is the side that is guilty, said “We are not the one who is guilty, why would we be in search for ways to negotiate? Israel is the one that killed innocent civilians in international waters. We do not carry any attempts to settle peace with the state of Israel. We have 9 martyrs and 54 injured friends. Israel will be held accountable for all this before the law. Israel will be found guilty in humanity’s conscience and will become isolated.”

Yildirim noted that they are establishing a dialogue with the people of Israel, not with the Israeli government. He went on to say “We are establishing a dialogue with the people of Israel. Because Israeli government is deceiving its own people and not telling the truth. This is why we are having interviews with some TV channels in Israel, in order to let the people of Israel hear the truth from us. Thus, now Israeli government’s attitude has become subjected to criticism from within the country as well. Again, I would like to say that no one in the world with a sense of justice and conscience fears Israel anymore. Now, law suits against Israel have been filed all over the world. Israeli government officials, will not be able to freely travel to a lot of countries including France and England. We achieved our first court success in France. Ehud Barak has not been able to travel to France as a result of the lawsuit filed by our coalition. He had to cancel his program. This is why we would like to state that we are not in an attempt to reconcile with Israel. Our intention is to make the Israeli officials pay for what they did and these scholars, here today, represent the Muslim world. Muslim world have now decided that Palestine will be free. One day, inshaAllah (God willing), we will be freely praying in Al-Aqsa Mosque.”  


In response to the question of “Are you planning to act as a mediator for the release of Gilad Shalit who is being held as a prisoner by Hamas?” from the press members, Bulent Yildirim said “Firstly we have never said that we can act as a mediator for Shalit. An Israeli press member asked us ‘You are a humanitarian aid organization, you work for the freedom of people. Why are you not working to help Gilad Shalit?’. In response to this, we told the press member that an international commission should be established for 11,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israel and Gilad Shalit, we are ready to take part in that. We reminded them of the Palestinian prisoners as well. Upon this, the Jewish community in Turkey sent us a written text. Now, we are discussing that text within our foundation. We have not decided on such mediation yet. Nowadays, our words should be interpreted carefully. In the media, a lot of discussions are carried out based on things we have not even said.”


During the meeting, press members have asked about the fate of the 3 ships that were seized by Israel. Yildirim said “Currently, Ministries of Transportation and Foreign Affairs are working on this issue. Two tugboats will be sent off. They told us that those tugboats are ready. 3 ships will be towed back to Turkey. However, we are asking for a commission to be established for loss adjustment. Because all our goods have been seized by force. We intend to seek redress for those in international courts. If the problem gets solved, the ships will arrive back here soon.”

Yildirim also noted that they will be building and opening one student dormitory of charitable status each in the hometowns of their martyred friends and will name these hostels after the martyrs. Yildirim said that “By this way, the names of Palestine martyrs will be representing the land registry deed of Palestine in those cities.”         

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