U.K University Arab Society Trip To Istanbul Sponsored By IHH

A U.K. student group is reporting that a trip to Istanbul organized by the University of Manchester’s Arab Society had been co-hosted by the Turkish organization Insani Yardim Vakfi (IHH), the sponsor of the June 2012 Gaza Flotilla that was involved in a violent altercation with Israeli naval forces. According to the Student Rights report:

6 February 2013 Last week Student Rights received a tip-off from a student at the University of Manchester that a trip to Istanbul organised by the university’s Arab Society had been co-hosted by the Turkish humanitarian organisation Insani Yardim Vakfi (IHH). Given the close links that IHH is alleged to have to Hamas, proscribed as a terrorist organisation by the British government, this should be of particular concern.

Taking place between the 15th and 21st of December, the trip focused on youth activism and included students from the Arab Society, the University of Leeds Friends of Syria Society as well as representatives from a number of Islamic Societies. In a Facebook post on the 22nd December, the society thanked organisations including IHH ‘for the generous hosting to our participants during the trip in Istanbul & we are looking forward to work [sic]more together in the future inshAllah’. In 2010 the US State Department declared that ‘We know that IHH representatives have met with senior Hamas officials in Turkey, Syria and Gaza over the past three years…That is obviously of great concern to us’. Bülent Yildirim, the President of IHH has met with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, and Haniyeh has said that ‘the IHH has particularly delivered substantial amount of aid to the people of Gaza. IHH President Bülent Yildirim offered help and stood beside our side during the war’. (continue reading...)