World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish people protested Israel on the first anniversary of the deadly Gaza offensive, also condemning Egypt over refusal to allow an international aid convoy to enter the country.
Activists from different disticts of Istanbul and several NGOs on Sunday attended the protest in the main square of Taksim.
Sunday marked Israel's devastating offensive into besieged Gaza land that killed nearly 1500 Palestinians, with a third of children and wounded more than 5000 Gazans.
They denounced the continuation of the siege towards Gaza by Israel. NGOs voiced their support to the freedom of Palestine convoy waiting in Jordan's Aqaba city.
The aid convoy said some members started a hunger strike at 11.25 am on Sunday in protest at the Egyptian government's refusal to allow the convoy entry onto its soil.
It was at 11.25 am on December 27 2008, that Israel dropped its first bombs on the besieged population of Gaza. Three weeks later, following a sustained air, land and sea assault.
The Viva Palestina statement said "hunger strikers will consume only liquids until the convoy is allowed entry into Egypt."
"Tension between Turkey-Egypt"
Turkish human rights group, Mazlum-Der, Deputy Chairman Cuneyt Sarıyasar read the press statement made on behalf of the Friends of Palestine Platform at the rally, saying that "an unacceptable crime against humanity continues in Gaza last 3 years."
"Israel shows to the world what kind of understanding of terror it has with the Gaza attacks. Israel brought the most brutal genocide against the people of Gaza nobody would think. The convoy, which our brothers joined and we bid farewell to, could not even be tolerated." Sariyasar said.
Ozgur-Der General Chairman Ridvan Kaya said in spite of all difficulties, Gaza people maintain their dignified stance, while collaborators such as Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak maintain "dishonorable life" despite all the opportunities.
Analysts said that the move of Egypt may rise tension between Turkey and Egypt.
Egyptian government even blocked on Saturday 16 Turkish lawmakers from ruling AK party to enter the country among "Freedom convoy for Gaza."
"Egyptian consulate will be sieged"
Turkish journalist and writer Abdurrahman Dilipak said, "in order to defeat Israeli, Muslims need to heal divisions inside and unite first. Gaza is a lesson for Islamic world."
IHH President in Viva Palestina convoy also spoke to the rally, connected by telephone from the Jordanian city of Aqaba.
IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation President Bulent Yıldırım said the convoy sounded great and Egypt is under international pressure.
"The aid convoy exposed Egyptian active role on the implementation of the Israeli embargo. Egypt asks us to turn back to Syria, then go to Gaza by ship. They try to force us to make additional 1000 km, try to prevent the convoy in every possible way. But we do not intend to return under any circumstances," he said.
Last Mod: 28 Aralık 2009, 12:45
The Israeli flags were burned at the protest. Some went to Egyptian consulate in Levent. The participants warned of Egyptian government, saying "if Egypt does not allow the passage for the convoy, the Egyptian consulate will be sieged."
The convoy departed London on 6 December and have travelled nearly 3,000 miles across Europe and the Middle East. However, the aid cargo is now stopped in the Jordanian port town of Aqaba, and convoy still await for permit.