Tens of thousands of people join Mavi Marmara march in Taksim Square
Tens of thousands of people marched in İstiklal Street, İstanbul on Thursday night for Mavi Marmara, Jerusalem and Syrian people.
Palestine, Middle East, Turkey 01.06.2012

While we continued to voice our wish for an “Independent Jerusalem,” we told the entire world that we are on the side of the Syrian people in their struggle for freedom.

“Commemoration of Mavi Marmara Martyrs and Salvation of Jerusalem” march was held by the IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation in İstanbul’s Taksim Square on Thursday night which marked the second anniversary of an Israeli attack on Mavi Marmara ship. Around 30,000 people joined the march from Taksim Square to Tünel. The participants of the event voiced their wish for an independent Jerusalem, their support for the people of Syria and asked for delivery of justice in Mavi Marmara case.

There were Mavi Marmara passengers and peace activists from countries such as Syria and Palestine among the participants of the march.

The participants of the march chanted slogans and carried placards which read: “Killer Russia, go out of Syria,” “Killer US, go out of the Middle East,” “Mavi Marmara is our honor,” “Martyr Furkan, your way is our way,” “May free Palestine live long,” “Masjid-i Aqsa is our honor,” “Damn Israel,” “Greetings from İstanbul to the resistance in Gaza,” “Muslims cannot bow to tyranny,” “Syrian people are not alone,” “Palestinian resistance will win,” “Masjid-i Aqsa is not alone.”

Carrying Palestinian flags, the protestors also chanted slogans against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and chanted takbeers.

Perpetrators of Mavi Marmara attack will be tried one by one

Speaking at Taksim Square at the beginning of the march, IHH President Bülent Yıldırım said they will never give up from their just cause regarding the Mavi Marmara incident.

Mavi Marmara topples despotic leaders

Yıldırım said justice will eventually be served regarding the killing of nine peace activists in Mavi Marmara attack. Another peace activist, Uğur Süleyman Söylemez, who was heavily injured in the attack, is still in a vegetative state.

“We will continue our fight in all fields. Mavi Marmara travels from the land now, it goes from one country to another, it promotes the Islamic spring. Mavi Marmara topples despotic leaders. Now, it has turned its direction to Jerusalem. There is no doubt that people will win in Syria. Neither the Zionist powers nor the United States, Russia or any western country will win in Syria. Syrian people will have the say on their future. Be sure that Syrian people will open the gates of Jerusalem,” he said.

Giving some information about the Mavi Marmara case and the legal process, Yıldırım explained: “Don’t think that only four people will be brought to trial in the Mavi Marmara case. Prosecutors seek 18,000-year-long jail sentence for the perpetrators of the Mavi Marmara attack. All of them will be exposed and be tried. The entire world has turned their eyes to this trial. This is the most famous trial in the world. Israel has panicked, it wants support from Europeans. I just appeal to European leaders here, whoever takes side with killer Zionists, they will be a part of the crime that was committed. Our fight against those who committed this crime will last for years, we have no hurry. The prosecutors who filed the Mavi Marmara case have given a lesson of law and humanity to the entire world. This case will be an example to the world and will ensure the filing of new cases in Europe. I call on the International Court of Justice to file a case against Israel over the Mavi Marmara incident. Israel will turn into an open prison. They will experience the same kind of isolation they imposed on Palestinians. We are approaching victory step by step.”

Yıldırım noted that the perpetrators of the Mavi Marmara attack will not go unpunished.

“We asked Israel to offer an apology, pay compensation to victim families and remove the blockade on Gaza. If Israel had complied with our demands, it would have been better for it but it has lost Turkey. We are activists; we are the people of struggle. We will never bow our heads before Israel’s tyranny.”

Yıldırım also noted that Jerusalem is a common value of humanity but Israel gives damage to Masjid-i Aqsa and other religious sites in the region.

Following Yıldırım’s speech, the march began with protestors’ releasing the torches in their hands to the air which were in the colors of the Palestinian flag. The protestors chanting takbeers and slogans in Arabic during the march reached the Tünel after one hour.

Historic speech from Raid Salah

Salah delivered an enthusiastic speech at the Tünel which led the protestors be moved away. Salah began his speech after the names of the Mavi Marmara victims were read out. He said peace activists set sail for Gaza two years ago with ships which only carried humanitarian aid and hopes for peace and justice. He said the victims of the Israeli attack will be remembered forever as symbols of freedom while the killers will go into the garbage bin of the history.

Salah who was on board the Mavi Marmara when it was attacked said those attacking the aid ships are the enemies of humanity, freedom and justice.

He said the blood of the Mavi Marmara victims will remain on the earth as the symbol of freedom and the killers will drown in the tears of the mothers. Making a call to the free people of the world, he said they should continue helping Gaza until it is completely free and the blockade imposed on the city is lifted.

“I want to make a call to the free people of the world. Oh Muslims, don’t stop helping Gaza until it is completely free. Israeli murderers will be killed in the blood and tears they spill. You don’t cut your support until the blockade on Jerusalem is lifted. Terrorist and occupant Israel lost in Gaza which it attacked with most modern weapons. The children of Gaza won. Israel should know this very well that Mavi Marmara will set sail for many other voyages. We will set sail again for the freedom of Damascus, Homs, Hama and Gaza. And Israelis will go into dark jails.”

Youths, victory will be yours

The Syrian regime, which massacres its own people, is also occupant. Assad, who massacres his own people, has fallen into the situation of an occupant. And it is high time for him to leave. You never forget that the freedom of Jerusalem begins in Damascus. You will fight to make Syria, Damascus gain their freedom because the freedom of Jerusalem begins from Damascus, Cairo and İstanbul. The honor of Masjid-i Aqsa begins from the masjids in Syria, Azhar in Cairo and Fatih Mosque in İstanbul. Listen to me, youths, oh the youths of the Islamic world, the youths of Turkey, we paid a very big price on your behalf despite the spill of our blood and we will continue to do so. You just keep this in mind that victory will be yours.”

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