World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish charity Humanitarian Relief Foundation – better known as IHH – has released an official statement regarding the police raid that took place on their office in the south-eastern city of Kilis on Tuesday morning.
The raid which took place at 6:20am and was ordered by a prosecutor based in the city of Van was supposedly part of a nationwide operation in six cities targeting Al-Qaeda operatives in the country. It was claimed that a suspected member of Al-Qaeda was working in the Kilis office, which is used to store aid destined for Syria.
IHH, which is well-known for organizing the Mavi Marmara aid flotilla to break the Israeli naval blockade on Gaza, said the raid was in breach of the law as no search warrant was presented and no third party was present to monitor the raid.
According to the statement security officials ‘unlawfully confiscated’ computers from the office during the operation, only to return them after examining and finding nothing illegal.
Two weeks ago media sources claimed that an aid truck belonging to IHH was caught smuggling weapons across the border to Syria. Although it was later revealed that the truck did not belong to IHH, the charity has insisted that a smear campaign is underway to suggest a link between them and Al-Qaeda rebels in Syria.
‘The way this operation is carried out shows clearly that the attempts to draw a connection between Al-Qaida and IHH for a while now have reached another level. Those who failed to lay false claims against IHH now targets IHH staff in order to establish that false link,’ the statement said.
The statement also condemned the authorities for raiding the IHH office in search of the suspect instead of his home address, in the belief that this was part of the campaign to establish a link between them and Al-Qaeda.
Claiming that this effort is an attempt by Israel to demonize the organization, which has been the agenda since the Mavi Marmara was set sail in May 2010, IHH said that Israeli lobbies were manipulating western media ‘to divert the attention from massacre of dozens and occupation of Palestine to the civic attempts to break the blockade in Gaza.’
Despite this, IHH said they had nothing to hide. ‘Since IHH is Turkey-based, legal, transparent humanitarian organization, all false accusations and attacks came to nothing,’ they declared in the statement on their official website.Last Mod: 15 Ocak 2014, 17:57