Friday, January 28, 2011

IHH's Ties to Turkey's AKP Government

Tamar Sternthal
27 January '11

In the New York Times' feature this week on Turkey's Foreign Minister ("Turkey's Role in Middle East is Bolstered by Vision of Foreign Minister"), Ahmet Davutoglu insists that he did all he could to convince the IHH to cancel the departure of the Mavi Marmara, and reporter James Traub doesn't contradict him:

In the spring of 2010, a Turkish charitable organization, I.H.H., chartered the flotilla designed to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza. Davutoglu says that he tried to persuade the group not to sail and then asked the organizer of the flotilla to turn aside if Israel stopped the ships, as it was certain to do, and to offload the cargo at a port outside Gaza if necessary.

Taub describes Ankara's apparent orchestration of the Mavi Marmara's confrontation with Israeli forces as merely an Israeli "view." A report released today by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC) details the close ties between IHH (described by Traub only as a Turkish charitable organization) and "the upper echelons of the Turkish regime," including the government's "logistical support" and "political-propaganda protection."

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