A commemoration ceremony was held at Fatih Mosque in İstanbul on the occasion of the third anniversary of Israel’s attack on Mavi Marmara ship, which set out to take humanitarian aid to Gaza. Tens of thousands of people from across Turkey attended the program.
During the program, which began with Quran recitation, Atallah Abu Al-Sabah, Palestinian Minister for Prisoner Affairs, said they are very pleased with Turkey’s taking a side with Palestinian resistance.
“The blood of nine martyrs who were killed on Mavi Marmara on their way to Palestine has mingled with our blood,” he said, adding: “Your divine attitude shows that Israel will be exterminated.”
“Those who will make those lands free again are those who follow the path of Sultan Fatih [the Conqueror],” al-Sabah added.
Al-Sabah also noted that Turkey’s sensitivity about Palestine has broken Israel’s strength in the region. “All the Palestinian lands are the lands of Islam and those will make those lands free again are those who follow the path of Sultan Fatih and Selahaddin Ayyubi.”
“We will erect flag of freedom in Masjid al-Aqsa”
IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation President Bülent Yıldırım, who also spoke at the ceremony, described the Mavi Marmara incident as the “beginning of Israel’s end” and said Mavi Marmara will continue to defend its cause from land until the blockade on Gaza is lifted and until the Israeli military officers, who had been involved in the attack, are arrested. He said Mavi Marmara will then sail into the Mediterranean again.
Yıldırım also said hearts of tens of thousands of people who took part in the march beat together with the hearts of the Muslims in Palestine, Afghanistan, Moro, Kashmir, Pattani, Arakan, Chechnia, East Turkistan and all across the world.
“We resisted in Egypt, we resisted in Tunisia, we have been resisting in Syria. We will continue to resist everywhere. In the end, we will erect the flag of freedom in Masjid al-Aqsa,” he added.
“Withdraw from Syria so that you can stay in our hearts”
Noting that Iran and Hezbollah are taking side with the Syrian regime, which kills innocent Syrian women and children, Yıldırım said: “You honored us in the past but now you are collaborating with killer Assad. You take side with the Syrian regime which kills women and children. You withdraw from Syria so that you can continue to stay in our hearts. If you stay out of our hearts, you will lose.”
Following the commemoration ceremony, tens of thousands of people who got out of the Fatih Mosque marched from the mosque to Edirnekapı neighborhood where two Mavi Marmara martyrs, Cevdet Kılıçlar and Necdet Yıldırım, are buried.
The crowd walked from the Fevzipaşa Street, which was partially closed to traffic, under security measures taken by the riot police teams. They chanted slogans saying, “May Palestinian resistance live long,” “Mavi Marmara is our honor,” “Muslims, don’t sleep, stand behind your brothers.”
The demonstrators also carried banners which read, “Masjid al-Aqsa is our honor,” “Those who take side with the Baath cannot take side with the ummah,” “We will not give up from our cause,” “May our Syrian resistance live long.”
The march ended at Edirnekapı Cemetery where prayers were made and verses from the Quran were recited for Yıldırım and Kılıçlar. The crowd dispersed peacefully after the prayers.
People from across different provinces in the country such as Ankara, İzmir, Sakarya, Balıkesir, Gaziantep, Adıyaman and Şanlıurfa came to İstanbul on 120 buses in order to commemorate victims of the Mavi Marmara attack.