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Turkiye's Communications Director writes to OIC ministers calling for solidarity with Palestine

October 24, 2023 at 8:23 pm

Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Emergency Open-Ended Executive Committee Meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on October 18, 2023. [Murat Gök – Anadolu Agency]

Turkiye’s Communications Director, Fahrettin Altun, has sent a letter to the information ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), calling for solidarity with Palestine, the Communications Directorate said on Tuesday, Anadolu Agency reports.

In the letter written in his capacity as the Chairperson of the 12th Conference of Information Ministers of the OIC, Altun addressed the ongoing attacks and disinformation campaigns targeting Palestine.

Altun said Turkiye condemns Israel’s ongoing bombardment of the Gaza Strip, and called for an unconditional cease-fire to prevent further loss of life.

He said Turkiye supports the rights of the Palestinian people, and emphasised strong rejection of international media’s efforts to whitewash human rights violations related to Israeli attacks.

In a time when facts are blurred, and widespread disinformation misguides the public, we call on the Information Ministers of OIC member countries to increase our joint efforts to combat disinformation regarding attacks against Palestinians without discrimination

he said.

READ: Israel’s rules of engagement in its war in Gaza exceed all red lines

“The world cannot turn a blind eye to the humanitarian tragedy unfolding in Palestine. It is of great importance to draw the attention of the international community to this issue.”

He said “Turkiye welcomes the efforts of the Islamic world in supporting the Palestinian cause and ending the barbaric cruelty against civilians.”

Resolve conflict for lasting peace

Altun recalled that Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, called for a humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza, and that the recent attack on Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital constituted a crime against humanity.

The collective punishment of the Palestinian people, deprived of food, water and electricity, is a violation of international law. The international community must take action against the brutality unfolding before our eyes

Altun said.

“Thousands of children have lost their lives, and the hopes of children for the future have been shattered due to the attacks.”

He said President Erdogan has long emphasised that there should be no further delay in establishing an independent Palestinian State with its capital in East Jerusalem, based on the 1967 borders.

“The only way to establish lasting peace in the Middle East is to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the Turkish official asserted.

Islamophobia, disinformation

Altun stressed that efforts to combat disinformation are extremely important in raising awareness against atrocities and alleviating the suffering of civilians.

“We should acknowledge that the information environment is filled with false narratives that conceal violations of international law. In parallel with the recent conflict between Palestine and Israel, we are going through a period where racist attacks and hate speech against Muslims can become very widespread,” he said.

Unfortunately, in such times of conflict, Altun said Islamophobic feelings deliberately fuelled by disinformation can come to the forefront.

READ: Haniyeh says West has lost its humanity with support for genocidal war

Disinformation, amplified disproportionately and uncontrollably on social media, is a factor fuelling Islamophobia globally, Altun said, adding that it is imperative for the entire world to recognise Islamophobia as a hate crime and effectively combat it.

Combating Islamophobia should be one of the fundamental duties not only of Muslims, but also of the international community, he added.

“… As members of the OIC, it is crucial for us to take a leading role in this fight … we should raise our voices strongly against the killing of innocent civilians and act in solidarity to stop the massacre in Gaza.”

The Communications Director invited all of humanity and the international community to take action to stop the “unprecedented brutality” in Gaza.

The conflict in Gaza, which has been under Israeli bombardment and a blockade since 7 October, began when the Palestinian group, Hamas, initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, a multi-pronged surprise attack that included a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel by land, sea and air. It said the incursion was in retaliation for the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque and growing violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians.

The Israeli military then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.

Nearly 7,200 people have been killed in the conflict, including at least 5,791 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis.

Gaza’s 2.3 million people have been running out of food, water, medicines and fuel, and aid convoys allowed into Gaza have carried only a fraction of what is needed.

READ: Palestinian cries of anguish are followed by deafening silence from the West