By Janet Ekstract ISTANBUL- On Saturday, at Turkiye’s “Great Palestine Meeting” in Istanbul alongside her husband President Erdogan, First Lady Emine Erdogan in a social media post commented: ”We shouted out to the world as one voice from Istanbul to be the voice of Gaza’s mothers, children and all the innocent people’s silent scream.” Also, on Saturday, the Turkish Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun in a message on X said: “Israel is showing once again that it is not interested in protecting civilians or respecting basic human rights. The complete cutoff of landline, mobile and internet communications in the Gaza Strip signals the latest stage in Israel’s military campaign against Palestinians.” Altun added: “While the Israeli military continues its most intense airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, which has been under siege since October 7th, its simultaneous effort to destroy communications is a blatant attack on the most fundamental human rights and values.”
Meanwhile, at the Palestine protest even in Istanbul, a diverse group from all walks of life gathered en masse carrying Turkish and Palestinian flags at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul to show their solidarity with Palestinians. Some wore headbands inscribed: “We are all Palestinians,” “End the genocide, let the children live,” and “Be the voice of Palestinian children. On Friday evening, reports came in of all internet service and electricity to the region, totally cutoff in a complete blackout. But Sunday, there were reports that the internet and electricity were gradually coming back on. Turkiye’s First Lady also said: “We will only be able to speak of humanity, conscience and mercy on the day that Israeli oppression stops. And we see children playing in safety in Gaza. On that day, our hearts and minds will also find peace. Until then, we will continue to stand by the Palestinian people.”
Emine Erdogan spoke with Queen Rania of Jordan and Shikha Moza bint Nasser Al Missned, mother of the Emir of Qatar. The three women agreed to increase cooperation and solidarity as a respondes to the attacks in Gaz with Turkiye’s first lady offering aid for Palestinian children in Gaza as well as offering to host those without families or those in need of medical treatment in her country. The Turkish first lady highlighted the horrific, tragic circumstances throughout the history of the Palestinians when she spoke with Queen Rania, stressing the horror that the majority of victims have been women and children. She also said that it is reprehensible to remain silent and indifferent as the worst humanitarian crisis and events unfold in Gaza. She also reiterated major efforts being made by Turkiye, Jordan and Qatar to reach an immediate ceasefire and get more humanitarian aid to the region. Emine Erdogan said she wants to see more Muslim countries increase cooperation and solidarity with Palestinians.
The Turkish first lady further commented that since all three women are the wives of Muslim country leaders that their voices need to be vociferous about highlighting what’s happening in Gaza and thaty hey must step up cooperation, raising even stronger objections and move in solidarity as the events in Gaza continue to unfold. The three women agreed to meet as soon as possible about the issue and Sheikha Moza sent her messages of support for Turkiye’s efforts in this regard.