The Turkish Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (İHH) organised demonstrations in major cities across Turkey on Wednesday to protest against Israel’s escalating violations in occupied Jerusalem and against Al-Aqsa Mosque, Anadolu news agency reported.
According to Anadolu, thousands of Turks and İHH members gathered near Taksim Square in Istanbul and chanted pro-Palestine and anti-Israeli slogans, such as: “Palestinians are not alone … Peace to start from Istanbul heading to Al-Aqsa … Killer Israel will be punished.”
İHH posted photos of the demonstrations in Istanbul online, writing: “Thousands of people gathered in Istanbul’s Taksim to show their support for #Palestinians defending their first Qibla,” referring to Al-Aqsa Mosque, where early Muslims directed their prayers.
Bülent Yıldırım, the director of İHH, told demonstrators that: “Israel has carried out aggressions against Al-Aqsa Mosque, firing bullets inside of it and throwing the Holy Qur’an on the ground.”
He went on: “The sides to blame here are the following: Israel, the heads of Islamic and non-Islamic international bodies, the presidents who are sitting in their castles and the heads of the Islamic parties. And all those who do not meet to decide how to save Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
Yıldırım stressed that “Muslims are not facing Jews, but Zionists,” pointing out that some Jews are also protesting against the Zionist aggressions on Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Anadolu also reported that İHH and other organisations staged similar protests in Ankara and other major cities to condemn the escalating Israeli violations.
The protesters chanted anti-Israeli slogans, and the heads of the different organisations affirmed in their speeches that they are supporting the Palestinians against the Israeli occupation.
In addition, a number of Turkish protesters gathered in front of the Israeli embassy, calling on the international community and the Islamic countries to act urgently to protect Al-Aqsa Mosque from the on-going Israeli attacks.
Some of the demonstrators also reportedly threw rubbish in the garden of the embassy.