The Blue Mosque, Istanbul.
(photo credit: NATHAN WISE)
A growing number of Turkish universities have decided to cut off relations with their Israeli counterparts, with the number rising to 111 in three days.
First, the rectors of 87 Turkish universities announced in a joint statement on Sunday that they would cut off all academic, cultural, and social ties with Israeli universities, if they do not condemn Israeli actions in Gaza, the Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak reported on Wednesday.
“In Gaza, there has been a great tragedy of humanity. The whole world is not reacting to it, as if they were all deaf and blind. The Israeli government has lost its discernment and attacks cruelly by putting the children in front of guns,” the public announcement read.
“In Ramadan, the holy month of Islamic world, people are having their iftar [break-fast] meal through the bombs with tears, grief and sorrow.
Unfortunately, everyone who closes their eyes to these cruel people and this kind of cruelty is a sharer of that violence,” it said.
The rectors said they would seek to sway national and global public opinion and start an aid campaign in all Turkish universities to support “our brothers in Gaza.”
It went on to say that legal measures would be taken to force Israel to pay compensation to killed or injured Palestinians in Gaza.
“May Allah’s peace and mercy be upon our casualties killed in the attacks of Zionist Israel,” it stated.
Meanwhile, municipalities across Turkey announced a boycott of Israeli products and of companies linked to the Jewish state, Yeni Safak reported.
Social media sites have been listing goods produced in Israel and companies linked to the country.
Some are banning Coca-Cola because of US support for Israel.
“It is important to emphasize that we should not give any logistical support to Israeli violence. With this understanding, we decided to make clear our attitude by not selling Coca-Cola products and others which support the illegal Zionist expansionist policies of Israel,” said Sakir Yucel Karaman, mayor of Istanbul’s Gungoren district, according to the report.
“We should at least support our side in such [a] situation [where] Muslim countries have subsided into a silence,” said Hilmi Turkmen, mayor of the city’s Uskudar district.