Monday, December 28, 2009

500 demonstrators demand:

"Freedom for Palestine and boycott for Israel"

"Call for Permanent Boycott of Israel for Palestine:

"Activists in Istanbul demonstrated for a boycott against Israel because of the country's attacks on Gaza one year ago. The demonstrators criticized that Turkey is acting on double standards regarding the issue of Palestine."

BİA News Center
Istanbul, Turkey
December 28, 2009

On the Web at:

On the first anniversary of Israel's attacks against Gaza, demonstrators in Istanbul called for a boycott of the middle-east country. Approximately 500 human rights defenders gathered on Istanbul's centrally located Istiklal Avenue yesterday (27 December) and claimed that Israel should be protested in any aspect, e.g. in the areas of economy, politics, culture, academics and military.

Israel carried out military operations in Gaza starting from 27 December last year and lasting for a total of 3 weeks. 1,500 people were killed during the attacks, 5,300 were injured. More than 20,000 houses were damaged. Israel imposed an embargo on the region which is still in effect till today.

"Erdoğan acts hypocritical"

The demonstrators demanded a Boycott Initiative against Israel for Palestine and protested the country's intervention, which they called a massacre.

Walking down Istiklal Avenue, the demonstrators carried a banner saying "Boycott against Israel for lifting the Gaza blockade, ending the occupation, tearing down the wall of shame, and for the refugee's right to return". The crowd was continuously shouting slogans such as "Freedom for Palestine and boycott for Israel", "Tear down the wall and lift the blockade", "Don't deceive in Davos, Israel is here" or "Field exercise in Konya [city in central Anatolia], disaster in Gaza". The protest march was supported by the applause of many bystanders.

The crowd walked towards Taksim Square, where Ali Çerkezoğlu, member of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) Central Council, made a press release on behalf of the group at the end of the protest march. Çerkezoğlu declared, "A drama is being experienced on Palestine territory for more than 60 years, the peoples of the world are united in solidarity for the Palestinian people".

Mentioning that Turkey and its ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) are maintaining relations with Israel, Çerkezoğlu pointed out that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan acts hypocritically on this issue.

"It will be the most significant step for Turkey as the most important ally in the region to organize a boycott campaign against Israel and against Zionism for a consistent and influential international solidarity for the Palestine people against anti-imperialism and Anti-Zionism", Çerkezoğlu stated.

The Initiative of a Boycott against Israel for Palestine declared at the demonstration that their boycott against Israel has started. The Initiative emphasized that the boycott does not only cover products but also targets isolation of areas such as military, politics, economics, culture or academics. (BÇ/VK)