Suzy Hansen


5 June 2010

At the IHH Offices

On Thursday, the Fatih Mosque in Istanbul held a funeral for the dead from the Mavi Marmara, one of the ships of the Gaza flotilla. Many of the mourners were activists from IHH, the Islamic charity that organised the flotilla. Children swung Palestinian and, in some cases, Hizbullah flags; women in black chador wore green 'We are all Palestinian' headbands; others were in Turkish headscarfs and matching outfits; still others, jeans and T-shirts. From the packed mosque courtyard came shouts of 'Katil Israil' and 'Kahrolsun Israil' ('Murderer Israel', 'Damn Israel'). It wasn’t the first time I’d heard those words in Turkey, but it was a striking moment. Turkey and Israel have always, at least officially, been allies in a region where Israel has few friends. The flotilla incident has probably changed their relationship for ever.