A U.K. student group is reporting that a trip to Istanbul organized by the University of Manchester’s Arab Society had been co-hosted by the Turkish organization Insani Yardim Vakfi (IHH), the sponsor of the June 2012 Gaza Flotilla that was involved in a violent altercation with Israeli naval forces. According to the Student Rights report:
6 February 2013 Last week Student Rights received a tip-off from a student at the University of Manchester that a trip to Istanbul organised by the university’s Arab Society had been co-hosted by the Turkish humanitarian organisation Insani Yardim Vakfi (IHH). Given the close links that IHH is alleged to have to Hamas, proscribed as a terrorist organisation by the British government, this should be of particular concern. Taking place between the 15th and 21st of December, the trip focused on youth activism and included students from the Arab Society, the University of Leeds Friends of Syria Society as well as representatives from a number of Islamic Societies. In a Facebook post on the 22nd December, the society thanked organisations including IHH ‘for the generous hosting to our participants during the trip in Istanbul & we are looking forward to work [sic]more together in the future inshAllah’. In 2010 the US State Department declared that ‘We know that IHH representatives have met with senior Hamas officials in Turkey, Syria and Gaza over the past three years…That is obviously of great concern to us’. Bülent Yildirim, the President of IHH has met with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, and Haniyeh has said that ‘the IHH has particularly delivered substantial amount of aid to the people of Gaza. IHH President Bülent Yildirim offered help and stood beside our side during the war’. Yildirim also appeared at a Hamas rally in 2009 and declared ‘I call upon all the leaders of the Islamic world, and upon all the peoples…anyone who does not stand alongside Palestine, his throne will be toppled’. In addition to this rhetorical support, IHH is also a member of the Union of Good, an umbrella organisation which transfers money between international charities and Hamas-controlled organisations in the Palestinian territories. Union of Good was designated as a terrorist group by the US Treasury in December 2008, and in 2009 the Charity Commission ordered Interpal to disassociate from the group as it could bring the charity’s reputation into disrepute.
Read the rest here.
The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) has published a report titled “Turkey, the Global Muslim Brotherhood, and the Gaza Flotilla” by analyst Steven Merley. Important conclusions from the report include:
- There is strong evidence for Turkish governmental involvement in the Gaza flotilla incident, with Turkish government support channeled through the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood network. Since 2006, Turkey has become a new center for the Global Muslim Brotherhood. The IHH was not acting alone but rather was an integral part of a Turkish Muslim Brotherhood network.
- The Gaza flotilla incident brought into sharp focus an even more significant long- term development: the growing relationship between the Erdogan government and the Global Muslim Brotherhood, which has given rise to some of the most notorious Islamist terrorist groups – from al-Qaeda to Hamas. Since 2006, Turkey has become a new center for the Global Muslim Brotherhood, while the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip acted as the main axis for this activity.
- Although IHH declared that the flotilla was humanitarian in nature, the history of IHH suggests that it is not only a humanitarian organization…..Aside from these terrorist connections, this report demonstrates that IHH and the rest of the Turkish/MB network are in fact Islamist, politicized organizations. ….Whether or not the violence was planned, this report demonstrates that the intent of the flotilla was breaking the Gaza blockade and delegitimizing Israel.
The JCPA report contains extensive information on the extremist/terrorist ties of IHH. Read the rest here.
A post from last September reported that IHH may be involved in transporting weapons to Syria on behalf of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. A post from last June reported that the President of the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (?HH) was being investigated for allegedly financing al-Qaeda through his organization.