NGO reps convene to discuss preparations for Mavi Marmara’s arrival
Representatives from the IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation as well as those from 38 other non-governmental organizations convened over the weekend to discuss preparations for the arrival of the Mavi
Palestine, Middle East, Turkey 20.12.2010

The meeting took place at the IHH headquarters in İstanbul’s Fatih district.

Mavi Marmara was part of a six-ship international flotilla that tried to break Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip to deliver humanitarian aid.

On May 31, Israeli commandos stormed all six ships. The action descended into violence and resulted in the death of nine peaceful activists aboard the Mavi Marmara.

Having underwent repair and maintenance at the port of İskenderun in Turkey’s Mediterranean cost, Mavi Marmara is currently towed at the Kepez port in Çanakkale. It is expected to arrive in İstanbul on Dec. 26. The IHH plans to hold a joyful welcoming ceremony for the Mavi Marmara. Peace activists and NGO represantatives from 50 countries are expected to attend the ceremony.

Delivering a speech at the meeting, IHH President Bülent Yıldırım said the Mavi Marmara ship deserves a spectacular welcoming ceremony, adding that the eyes of the entire world will be on this ceremony on Dec. 26.

He said the welcoming ceremony to be held for Mavi Marmara is of crucial importance to show that Muslims raise their voice against Israeli brutality.

“If hundreds of thousands of people had attended the ceremony to send Mavi Marmara out to Gaza, Israel would not have carried out an attack against the ship. We will welcome Mavi Marmara more joyfully than we sent it out,” said Yıldırım.

Representatives from other NGOs said they will do their best and give the necessary support to the IHH to welcome the Mavi Marmara in the best way possible.

Mavi Marmara set sail from Turkey to take humanitarian aid to our brothers and sisters in Gaza which is like an open prison. It was sent out from the port of Sarayburnu with prayers on the morning of May 22, 2010. It was going to Gaza on humanity’s behalf and carrying hundreds of people from across 36 countries on board.

On the morning of May 31, the blue waters of the Mediterranean witnessed one of the worst crimes against humanity. Israeli soldiers attacked the “Palestine Our Route Humanitarian Aid Our Load” flotilla in international waters. Israel attacked on humanity and killed people. Nine peaceful activists were martyred and 54 others were injured by Israeli attacks

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