Sunday, February 9, 2014
Turkish Government backed islamic charity IHH linked to Al Qaeda
January 14, 2014, 12:30 p.m.
Turkish police raided offices of a government-backed Islamic charity in six provinces on Tuesday and detained at least 23 people accused of having links with Al Qaeda, local media reported.
The coordinated operation against the Humanitarian Relief Foundation, or IHH, prompted the leadership of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to sack the senior police official responsible for conducting the raid at the charity's Kilis headquarters, the Hurriyet Daily News reported.
Erdogan's government, the target of a major, monthlong anti-corruption drive by justice authorities, has fired or demoted nearly 2,000 senior police involved in the sweeps of government offices and business allies, Hurriyet has reported.
The sacked police and local prosecutors have been accused of being under the sway of prominent Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, who runs a global empire of private schools and interfaith dialogue from his U.S. compound in Pennsylvania where he lives in self-exile.
IHH issued a statement condemning the raids on its offices as an attempt to besmirch its relief work on behalf of refugees from Syria and its aid to Turkish communities in the war-torn neighboring nation and border region.
"They are trying to show the IHH as if it is related to terror organizations," the agency's leader, Yasar Kutluay, said in the statement.IHH was behind the ill-fated attempt to bring aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip during an Israeli blockade of the territory in May 2010. Nine Turkish activists were killed when Israeli commandos