IHH leader Bulent Yildirim gave an interview focusing on the U.S.
intention to designate the IHH as a terrorist organization and on the
Mavi Marmara incident. Yildirim claimed “Zionists” controlled the
U.S. and world media. He accused Israel of massacring the Mavi
Marmara passengers and defended IHH assistance to Hamas.
1. On November 14, 2010, Bulent Yildirim, the leader of the IHH, a
Turkish organization which played a major role in the latest
flotilla, gave an interview to the Islamic government-affiliated
newspaper Star. The interview focused on the Mavi Marmara incident
and the developments that followed.
2. The interview consisted of two major parts:
a. In the first part, Bulent Yildirim discussed at length a motion by
the U.S. Congress to designate the IHH as a terrorist organization.
He once again used the anti-Semitic motif according to which “the
Zionists” (a term which now substitutes “the Jews”) control the U.S.,
including the president, the Congress, the administration, and the
media. He said that the “Zionism” also controls the drug and weapons
industries and the media across the globe.
b. In the second part of the interview, Yildirim discussed the Mavi
Marmara incident. He once again accused Israel of deliberately
massacring innocent passengers, claiming they had carried no weapons.
He defended the assistance extended by the IHH to Hamas in the Gaza
Strip, and threatened that the IHH would not leave Israel alone until
it lifted the so-called siege of the Gaza Strip. Yildirim made the
far-fetched claim that Israel had committed the Mavi
Marmara “massacre” to let Turkey know that Israel is the country that
owns the Mediterranean Sea, with its oil and gas resources (according
to Yildirim´s allegation, the site of the raid on the Mavi Marmara is
the location where Israel wants to produce underwater gas). He made
another grotesque claim according to which Israel had been planning
to attack Gaza and Lebanon and commit a massacre there, and that only
the humanitarian aid organizations that organized the flotilla had
taken action to prevent that from happening.
3. The interview provides an insight into the character and thought
patterns of IHH leader Bulent Yildirim. He appears to hold radical
Islamic views, adhere to extreme anti-Semitic beliefs drawn from The
Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and harbor hostility towards the
U.S. and Israel. The unfounded narrative of the Mavi Marmara flotilla
which he repeatedly disseminates in interviews to Islamic Turkish
target audiences is aimed, in our assessment, to divert criticism and
complaints voiced in Turkey against the IHH, and at the same time
provide the IHH with the platform to continue helping Hamas, with the
Turkish government´s support (even though Yildirim portrays the IHH
as an independent organization).
4. It should be mentioned that, in a speech given about two months
prior to the flotilla, Yildirim had described it as a constituent in
the campaign against “the infidels” (including Israel, the U.S.,
Russia, and China) who “rob” the Muslims, and argued that if Muslims
could control Jerusalem, they would control the world.1
5. See Appendix for the main points of Bulent Yildirim’s interview.
Main points of the interview given by IHH leader Bulent Yildirim
to the Turkish newspaper Star
1. On November 14, 2010, the Turkish daily Star published an
interview given by IHH leader Bulent Yildirim to Star reporter Fadime
Özkan. The interview focused on the Mavi Marmara incident and the
developments that had followed. The article begins by saying that the
backdrop for the interview was the possibility that the IHH would be
designated as a terrorist organization in the U.S. in the wake of the
Mavi Marmara incident, and the expectation that Israel would submit
the findings of its internal enquiry committee to the UN Secretary
2. An Islamist daily, Star is considered to be affiliated with the
Turkish government. The wording of the questions and the way they
were presented to Bulent Yildirim is a possible sign, in our
assessment, that the interview was staged and that the questions and
answers had been scripted in advance to provide the IHH leader with a
proper platform to respond to his critics and present his views to
Islamic Turkish target audiences (Yildirim expresses himself
differently to his partner Western human rights organizations and to
world public opinion).CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE REPORT