Hundred of thousand of Turkish people poured into streets of Istanbul on Sunday to protest the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip and the killing of innocent Palestinians by the Israeli army. They give a message to the world and curse Israel for the violent acts and attacks it has been comtinuing for years over the innocent Palestinians. Approximately 300.000 people gathered at the Abide-I Hurriyet square in the Sisli district. Police took extensive security measures by searching the demonstrators before they entered the square.
The protestors chanted slogans against Israel and the US, condemning the killing of innocent people and the inaction of the international community to protect innocent citizens. "Butchers of Pharaohs: Israel and USA", "Wake-up Muslims", "Israel is committing crimes aganist humanity. The world is watching", "All of us have hope for Palestine", "Do not be a simple spectator to a massacre", "We are all Palestinians", "Down with Israel and collaborator U.S" and "Farewell to Sharon, Devotion to Hamas" were the main slogans chanted at the demonstration.
Among keynote speakers who addressed the gathering were Happiness Party leader Recai Kutan, Ahmet Gumdagdvu, head of the teachers syndicate, and Dr. Salah Sultan, President of the American Center for Islamic Research. Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya and former Turkish premier Necmettin Erbakan addressed the demonstrators via video conference.
Israel launched its Gaza Strip offensive on Wednesday, June 28, after an Israeli soldier was taken prisoner by Palestinian resistance groups. Israel claims the onslaught, which has seen large parts of the coastal strip reoccupied and thousands of troops and military gear deployed, only aims at freeing the soldier. The Palestinians, however, see the offensive as a bid to topple the Hamas-led government and inflict long-term havoc on Gaza's infrastructure.
The speakers lashed out at Israel's collective punishment of the Palestinian people, with many opening salvos at Arab and Muslim countries for failing the Palestinians. Erbakan, who served as prime minister for about a year and a half, lamented the killing of many Palestinian civilians by Israeli occupation forces. He lashed out at Arab and Muslim regime over their deafening silence and apathy. The ex-premier also criticized the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for not taking a strong stance with Israel, recalling he had sacked his foreign minister over dealings with the Zionists.
The Turkish government was not presented in the demonstration. In a statement issued on Saturday, July 8, the Turkish Foreign Ministry expressed deep concerned about the escalating violence in the occupied Palestinian territories. "The killing of so many Palestinians before the eyes of the whole world is really dreadful," Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said in statements Saturday. He said he was "horrified" by the number of Palestinians killed in the Israeli air raids. Turkey, a mainly Muslim secular state, has been Israel's main ally in the region since the conclusion of a military cooperation treaty in 1996.
Protesters carry a Palestine flag during demonstration in Istanbul.
The spokesman at the protest, which was organized by the pro-Islamic Happiness Party, said that world nations had turned a blind eye to the tragedy in the region as the Israeli army killed innocent people. Palastine prime minister Isma'il Haniyeh told (by phone) Hundred of thousands Turkish supporters at a rally in Istanbul, Turkey that his government would make no concessions to Israel, or give up the Arab claim to Kuds. Haniyeh said, "The siege that has been forced on us is designed to force us to make concessions. But my government will never give up Kuds (Jerusalem)."
Some 50 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed by the Israeli army, which re-entered the Gaza Strip 12 days ago to rescue a soldier kidnapped by Palestinian armed groups. Most Turkish people have strong sympathy for the Palestinians' aspiration to establish an independent state, although Turkey has close relations with both Israel and the Palestine administration. Hundred of thousands of pro-Islamic Turks were gathering to protest Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip, a day after the Turkish foreign minister called the offensive in response to the abduction of an Israeli soldier 'horrifying.'
The banner reads ' Israel is committing crimes aganist humanity. The world is watching'.
Former premier Erbakan stressed the importance of the boycott weapons against Israel. Dr. Sultan echoed the same message. He urged Muslims worldwide to lay more pressures on their governments to stand by the Palestinians against the continued Israeli aggressions. He also called for activating the boycott of Israel.
The ongoing Israeli onslaught has motivated Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, to pull out its Fed cup tennis tie with Israel. "We have decided to pull out of the play-off because even though tennis is a sport, we have to be consistent in our support for the Palestinian people who have suffered excessive aggression by Israel," foreign ministry spokesman Desra Percaya said.
In October 2002, 18 of the 22-member Arab League pledged to "reactivate" a half-century-old ban on trade with Israel as they wrapped up a meeting of the League's Boycott Office of Israel (BOI). Arab states once boycotted not just Israeli firms themselves, but third-country companies which do business with Israel. However, the indirect boycott has largely lapsed since the launch of the Middle East peace process in 1991. Many Arab countries were also pressed by the US to scrap Israel boycott as a precondition for inking free trade agreements with Washington.
Protesters carry a man covered in fake blood, representing an injured Palestinian, during an anti- Israel demonstration in Istanbul.Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16