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Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

The Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) organized a march to commemorate those who lost their lives in Israel’s attack on the Mavi Marmara ship 14 years ago and to protest against the genocide in Gaza.

Hundreds of people gathered at Beyazıt Square, wearing keffiyehs around their necks and carrying posters saying “Free Palestine” along with Turkish and Palestinian flags and banners with the phrase “Until Palestine is free.”

Throughout the march, the crowd chanted slogans such as “Free Palestine from the river to the sea,” “Mavi Marmara is our honor,” “The name of resistance is Mavi Marmara,” and “Israel, the killer, America, the collaborator,” while also carrying banners commemorating those who lost their lives in the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara ship on May 31, 2010.

The march ended at Ayasofya Square, where the Quran was recited.

Speaking to the participants, Beheşti Ismail Songür, the president of the Mavi Marmara Freedom and Solidarity Association, mentioned that 14 years have passed since the attack on the Mavi Marmara ship and that the children and young people who lost their relatives in the attack have grown up and are now preparing to set sail again to the Mediterranean to lift the blockade on Gaza.

Regarding the new fleet that will depart for Palestine, Songür said: “A few months ago, we purchased new ships for a new freedom fleet.

During the process of purchasing the ships, we faced dozens of sabotage attempts. Israel particularly tried to stop these ships in its own ports, created technical obstacles for us, tried to create procedural barriers and finally detained our ships at Tuzla Port by lowering their flags.”

Songür also expressed their expectation for states to take action to end the attacks in Palestine, stating that if states cannot do anything, they are ready to set sail from all over the world as civilians.

French activist Frank Romano expressed their desire to set sail again, honoring the Mavi Marmara and continuing the Palestinians’ cause.

Muhammet Cihat Çelik, a member of the IHH board of directors and president of the Young IHH, commemorated the Mavi Marmara attack, saying: “We lost 10 martyrs. Israel thought at that time that ‘If I do something like this, Muslims will be afraid and sit still. They will never dare to do such a thing again.’ But it didn’t happen as they expected. For 14 years, we have not forgotten our martyrs, the Palestinian cause, Gaza, or our struggle. Mavi Marmara was an awakening, a resurrection, a resistance. Mavi Marmara raised a generation and now we continue to work with those generations.”

The event concluded with a prayer after the speeches.

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