Turkish humanitarian convoy will annoy Putin

Turkish humanitarian convoy will annoy Putin

Finally, the loud voice I was hoping to hear has come from Turkey’s Humanitarian Relief Foundation (İHH). If it had not, the cries for help from the 7-year-old girl in Aleppo may have continued to echo in the void. Finally, people have heard young Bana’s voice calling for protection. 

The İHH is organizing a “Make Way to Aleppo” convoy. As a result, this damning silence and this shame of just watching desperately may come to an end. 

The Aleppo convoy reminds us of the 2010 Gaza flotilla. Domestic and international humanitarian activists will join it. Awareness of the plight of Aleppo will be raised domestically and internationally. This convey will be on the road for days before arriving. Think of it as a mobile protest heading from Istanbul to the border post of Cilvegözü. 

The announcement of the convey came the other day. Its first leg will convene in Istanbul’s Kazlıçeşme on Dec. 14. It will then proceed making various stops along the way. The first stop is Sakarya, near Istanbul. The convoy will stay there overnight and hold a demonstration protesting the massacre in Aleppo while also asking people to join the convoy. 

It will then go on to the capital Ankara, where a protest in front of the Russian Embassy is planned. They will chant, “Putin, Putin, hear our voice.” 

The next stop will be Konya, and then they will go to the main gathering point, Osmaniye. In this southern town, human rights activists and volunteers for Aleppo will come together. Other volunteers from all around Turkey will unite here. Then all participants will start moving in the direction of Reyhanlı. The last stop is at the Cilvegözü border post. This act will end at that place, where the aid will be handed over for conveyance to Aleppo.

In the convoy, the private vehicles of volunteers from across Turkey will join TIR trucks loaded with humanitarian aid. 

The aim is to draw the attention of the world to the massacre in Aleppo and force the opening of a humanitarian corridor. 

It may remind one of the Mavi Marmara flotilla that set out to break the blockade on Gaza, but this time there is no question of the convoy finding itself in the line of fire, because it will not cross the border.
The only risk is that the perpetrators of the massacres in Aleppo will be exposed name by name. Russia and Putin will be called to account. 

After the attack on the Mavi Marmara flotilla, our relations with Israel were severed. The “Make Way to Aleppo” convoy, at the most, may strain our relations with Russia. It would not go all the way to cause any serious diplomatic trouble. The only risk is that it may anger Putin. 

But in east Aleppo, hundreds of thousands of people remain stranded under fire, hungry and isolated. They cannot be evacuated because Russia does not agree to a ceasefire to help the situation. 

Try to imagine the horrifying situation by listening to the words of the Syrian program director of Doctors Without Borders, Carlos Francisco. He said they were trying to help in different parts of Aleppo with 30 doctors, but there is no hospital or medication left in the area. 

They have been working in troubled regions for decades, but Francisco said Aleppo is the biggest tragedy he has ever seen.