Thousands of Turks protest Israeli killing of Palestinians
Thousands all around Turkey launched demonstrations in protest of the killing of more than 60 Palestinians by Israeli security forces on May 14.
Hundreds of people gathered in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district on May 14 at around 7 p.m. for the protest named “Give voice to the invasion” at Tunnel Square, located on the southern end of the famous İstiklal Avenue. Among the people protesting were representatives of Turkey’s largest labor movement Memur-Sen, Anadolu Youth Association (AGD), the İHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, and the Turkish Association of Municipal and City Administration (Bem-Bir-Sen).
Once they arrived at the square, various representatives of the groups held speeches here, with İHH chairman Bülent Yıldırım taking the floor first.
“The Israeli Embassy and consulates [in Turkey] should be closed down soon. Would it suit us to shut our eyes to this situation while Muslims are dying? … We will encircle the Consulate General of Israel in Istanbul throughout Ramadan. We will hold our iftar and sahur there,” Yıldırım was quoted as saying by Doğan News Agency.
The next person to take the stage was the Memur-Sen vice chairman Mehmet Emin Esen.
“Following the U.S.’ move [the relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem], the attacks of the Zionists are continuing to increase … Only yesterday, hundreds of Zionists, under the protection of Israeli police, attacked the al-Aqsa Mosque. And today, they have martyred more than 50 of our Palestinian brothers. We condemn and curse these Zionist gangs,” said Esen.
Protests were also held in the capital Ankara, with a group of people gathering in front of the Israeli Embassy on May 14, and another in front of the U.S. Embassy on May 15.
The Turkish police have taken intensive security measures around the U.S. Embassy, not letting the crowd get close to the building. This led protestors to gather in front of the Ankara Chamber of Industry, where they held a press meeting.
Esma Kaşram, who made the press announcement on behalf of the group, said Gaza had been under the invasion of Israel for the last 12 years and Palestinians were being prevented from attaining their basic needs.
“The last circle of this occupation, which has lasted for 70 years, is the process of taking over Palestine’s historical capital Jersualem,” said Kaşram.
Similarly, other protests were organized in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, in the eastern province of Batman, in the southern province of Bursa, the western province of Bursa, and the eastern province of Malatya.