İHH declares objection to Turkey-Israel normalization
ANKARAThe Istanbul-based Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (İHH), which organized the 2010 flotilla to Gaza, has declared its clear objection to on imminent agreement between Turkey and Israel expected to be announced on June 26.
The İHH announced its objection and reasons through its official Twitter accounts late on June 25, both in English and in Turkish.
“Our commitments related with the conditions of [the] probable Israel-Turkey agreement as it appears in the media [are] as such: 1- We are keeping our stance related with the blockade of Gaza and [the] Mavi Marmara incident,” the İHH said.
Turkish-Israeli relations were suspended in 2010 after the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) stormed the Mavi Marmara, part of the Gaza-bound “Gaza Freedom Flotilla” trying to break the Israeli blockade on the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. As a result of the attack eight Turkish citizens and one U.S. citizen of Turkish descent were killed and a tenth died of his wounds three years later.
The IHH organized the 2010 flotilla to Gaza.
“2- The blockade of Gaza is unlawful and a crime against the humanity. The blockade has to be lifted. /3- A blockade is cutting [off] all the ties of a certain place from [the] outside World while an embargo is related with trade barriers and sanctions. /4- Blockade is different from embargo. The agreement should be based on the conditions of abolishing the blockade, not the embargo. /5- An agreement foreseeing the using of Ashdod port would not weaken the blockade but rather it leads to official recognition of it. /6- The probable agreement conditions that were published in the press will lead to international recognition of the blockade,” the IHH argued in a series of tweets.
“7- The usage of the Gaza Port for transportation of goods would be the best solution for the Gaza people. /8- It seems that the issue is restricted with humanitarian relief for Gaza in the press, but it is just a part of the problem. /9- Humanitarian relief is just a part of the problem, the fundamental problem of Gaza is related to freedoms. /10- The people of Gaza should have the right of movement and trade freely,” they said.
“11- [The] Mavi Marmara cases should not be contained in the discussions that are being carried. /12- Israel should accept the compensation as a result of its crimes in [the] Mavi Marmara incident not as a donation,” they finally said.
In February, upon reports of meetings between Turkish and Israeli officials over Turkey’s compensation demand, one of the three conditions which had not yet been met by Israel over normalization, the İHH issued a similar “warning” related to the delicate issue of court cases in absentia against former Israeli military commanders over the killings in 2010.
“It is unacceptable for our clients’ rights to be a subject to political bargaining between the two officials,” the İHH had said at the time.
“It is known that Israel has put forward the termination of the court cases we have been following as a precondition to normalize the bilateral relations between the two countries. Ending any of these cases by no means will be a topic of discussion. By law, such a situation is not possible. Israel and the Israeli attackers involved are obliged to compensate for the harm they have caused our clients both morally and financially. When we look back at similar precedents from around the world, the penalty for such an attack is $1 billion. It was said during negotiation talks that, ‘Israel will pay $20 million.’ Israel by ‘donating’ such a small sum is not only trying to slip away from responsibility but also insulting the martyrs by declaring that they will pay this price through ‘donating/giving charity,’” the İHH had said.
“No matter how large the sum is of such a ‘donation’ by no means will it be accepted. Only through a court decision [will] a ‘tort compensation’ meaning ‘criminal responsibility of the perpetrators’ be accepted, even if it’s one penny, in order for it to enter the records,” it had suggested.