Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Turkey government supports extremists' views

Umm, this is like saying Turkey supports Iran--which they do seeing as how they voted against UN sanctions on Iran. But anyway:
A report released this week by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC) said new details have emerged which show how approximately 40 operatives from the Turkish Islamist IHH organization carefully prepared a violent ambush on navy commandos last week on board the Mavi Maramara ship, and acted with the full backing of the Turkish government.

The IHH operatives were armed with knives, axes and other weapons, communicated with one another using walkie talkies, set up a control room onboard the ship, and maintained close ties with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, the report said.[...]

"The operatives, who acted according to a clearly-defined internal hierarchy, boarded the ship in the port of Istanbul without undergoing a security inspection as opposed to the other passengers, who boarded in Anatolia after a full inspection," the report said.

"The IHH operatives’ preparations included handing out walkie-talkies as they boarded the ship, taking over the upper deck, setting up a situation room for communications, and a briefing given to the operatives two hours before the confrontation by IHH head Bülent Yildirim, who was on board the ship and commanded his men," it continued.[...]

"The passengers, including the IHH operatives, stated that there were close relations between the organization and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and that the Turkish government was involved in preparations for the flotilla," the report asserted.

A journalist onboard the Mavi Marmara, described as having good links with the heads of the Turkish government and Bulent Yildirim, head of the IHH, had stated, "The flotilla was organized with the support of the Turkish government and Prime Minister Erdogan gave the instructions for it to set sail. That was despite the fact that everyone knew it would never reach its destination," according to the report.

Files found in laptops seized from IHH members contained a letter written in Turkish from IHH head Bülent Yildirim to Turkish President Abdullah Gül. The letter requested Gal's assistance in efforts to release an IHH operative, named as Izzat Shahin, from an Israeli prison.

Sahin was arrested by Israeli security forces in the West Bank on April 27 on suspicion transferring cash to Hamas under the guise of charitable aid. He has since been deported from Israel "at the request of Turkish officials," the report added {...]

In January, the IHH helped organize a convoy to Gaza which became stranded at El-Arish in the Sinai Peninsula after being denied entry into Gaza by Egypt, "Turkey enacted major pressure on Egypt to let the convoy into Gaza. The Egyptians eventually agreed," Karmon added. An Egyptian soldier was killed during clashes between members of the convoy and the Egyptian security forces.

Last week, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) released footage of statements made by Bulent Yildirim, head of IHH, in Gaza in February 2009.

During the speech, which was filled with references to “martyrdom,” Yildirim said, "All the peoples of the Islamic world would want a leader like [Turkish prime minister] Recep Tayyip Erdoğan."

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