Istanbul-based Islamic charity organization 'uses ISIL-adopted insignia' on logo
The Haznedar Islamic Research, Sustenance and Helping Association (HİSADER), is located in Güngören, one of Istanbul’s popular districts.
An Islamic charity organization based in an Istanbul suburb is using an insignia adopted by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), daily HaberTürk has reported.
The report comes amid claims that some Turkish associations were recruiting militants for the jihadist group who have recently launched a wide-scale offensive in Iraq.
The Haznedar Islamic Research, Sustenance and Helping Association (HİSADER), located in Güngören neighborhood, has for a long time been campaigning to raise funds for charity work to be undertaken in Syria.
The association notably uses “the stamp of the Prophet Muhammad,” nowadays associated with the ISIL, but previously used by several other Islamic organizations. The insignia includes the Shahadah (the Islamic declaration of faith) and the Quranic phrase: “There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God.”
According to its website, the association is also involved in combatting drug addiction and prostitution.
The same insignia can also be found in neighborhood shops, where many parents claim their children have been sent to Syria or Iraq to fight alongside the militant group. HaberTürk’s reports claim a woman threw stones at the shop, shouting, “Give back my child.”
Another man told the newspaper that his 21-year-old son joined ISIL after choosing the path of religion as a means of fighting his drug addictions.
“[First] he was gathering with a group of young people. He [then] dedicated himself to prayers. Then he started to accuse us of being infidels. One weekend, he left and he never came back. His friends told me he went to Syria with 15 other people. I begged him to come back, but he said he couldn’t and he was [in Syria] for jihad,” the boy’s father explained.
HİSADER President Volkan Sağlam rejected the report on June 17. Sağlam said in a written statement that his association had no relationship with ISIL or any other organizations. "Not knowing the meaning of the writing on the logo shows the ignorance of those who prepared and published this report," Sağlam said.
HİSADER also stressed that it focused on "anti-narcotics efforts and humanitarian relief," albeit with a political twist.
"Drugs are a chemical weapon. And our lands are occupied by the Zionist-Crusader," said the HİSADER board in a recent statement.
Reports claiming that around 3,000 Turkish citizens have joined ISIL militias, who are mainly from Istanbul’s suburbs, have been rejected by the Turkish government.