Turkey's unprecedented campaign for Gazans

Besides daily protests, fund raisings, boycotts and prayers, Turkish people found unprecedented way to express their solidarity to Palestanians.

Turkey's unprecedented campaign for Gazans
World Bulletin / News Desk

Besides daily protests, fund raisings, boycotts and prayers, Turkish people found unprecedented way to express their solidarity to Palestanians.

That is "to call a phone number in Gaza and praying with Gazans even if Turks do not speak any Arabic or English."

During the Israeli attacks, Gazans could not go out for days. Phone lines were open temporarily. It was sometimes possible to reach a Palestanian family by phone when one presses random numbers after the international Gaza code "00970828".

Many people in Turkey tried this method to give them some hope, show their support. One of those, Sumeyye Timur told Turkish newspaper Zaman her call to Gaza:

"I dialed a random number, hoping I can talk with a Gazan family. I could not have a connection at first, but I kept trying. I did not know Arabic or English, but told them I`m a Muslim from Turkey that I learned how to say from a friend. When I was trying to explain I did not know how to speak Arabic, the woman on the other side started crying, and called for others in the house. She repeated what I said to others. I lost all words but "thank you". Then we said only "Allahu Ekber" while weeping. Allahu Ekber until we hanged up..."

The first woman who are called by Emira Baryaman`s, could not continue talking because of tears. The Gazan woman told Baryaman, they usually did not have any electricity, but when they were able to watch TV, she saw protests in Turkey. During Baryaman`s another call, a Palestanian man told her, "we only want prayers from you, we believe in Allah, we take refuge in Allah. Please pray for us." Baryaman said.

They wanted her to call again to give moral support to their sad mother.

Yıldız Yıldırım, who had contacted to Muna, a mother of four, says the Gazan family only wanted prayers.

Her children are 5, 3 and 1 grade students. The last one is only a baby. "I was able to hear their voices," she said.

She said they could not leave the house, children were afraid because Israeli bombs hit the next house. She said "can you hear the bombs? Please pray for us" Yıldırım says.

She is amazed by the strenght in Gazan mother`s voice: "It`s like she calmed me.

She said "it`s nice for me to call. I couldn`t know what to say. I just said I`m calling from Turkey, we pray for them, we organized campaigns to support them. I said our hearts and prayers are with you. Allah`s help is near, with your patiance and strenght, you will be the ones who will win. She thanked everyone in Turkey who supports Gaza."

"I called them after the ceasefire again, she told me they feel better, they haven`t lost anybody in the family and aid is arriving," she added.

Despite not knowing any Arabic, Hale Keleş is one of those who called Gaza several times during the attacks.

"I was able to talk twice, one with a woman and other was a man. The man sounded unshaken, calm. The woman, on the other hand, were upset. When I said hopeful things, they thanked me. I wish I knew Arabic, so I could understand them better," she said.

Another caller Yağmur Turgut said some of the Gazans, she talked to, were uncomfortable until she said she`s calling from Turkey.

"I think they were uneasy because Israelis called them just before they bombed them" she said.
Last Mod: 22 Ocak 2009, 12:10
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