* IHH, Ahmet Emin +90 530 341 19 34
* Free Gaza Movement, Eliza Ernshire +44 754 011 22 94

[Istanbul, Turkey, 28 January 2010] Today the Free Gaza Movement and
the Turkish Relief Foundation (IHH), announce a joint venture, sending
10 boats in the spring of 2010 to the besieged Gaza strip.
Organizations from Greece, Ireland and Sweden have also promised to
send boats to join the flotilla with the Free Gaza movement and

Mr. Bulent Yildirim, chairman of the IHH said, “We sail in the spring
to Gaza, and our last port is freedom; freedom for the 1.5 million
Palestinians denied the right to rebuild their society. We will never
stop sailing until Israel’s siege is lifted.”

Two cargo ships will be part of the flotilla, one donated by the
Malaysia-based Perdana Foundation and one from IHH. Both will be laden
with building supplies, generators and educational materials that
Israel prohibits from entering Gaza since their brutal attack on the
civilian population a year ago.

The many passenger boats accompanying the cargo ships will carry
members of Parliament from countries around the world as well as
high-profile journalists and human rights workers.

According to the chair of the Free Gaza Movement, Huwaida Arraf, “The
illegal blockade on Gaza and Israel’s continued intransigence make a
mockery of international law. If our governments will not take a
stance to stop Israel’s abuse of the Palestinian people, global civil
society is showing that we will.”

The Free Gaza movement, a human rights group, sent two boats to Gaza
in August 2008. These were the first international boats to land in
the port in 41 years. Since then, seven more voyages boarded
Parliamentarians, human rights workers, and other dignitaries to
witness the effects of Israel’s draconian policies on the civilians of
Gaza. The last three voyages were illegally stopped by the Israeli
navy when, in December, 2008, they rammed the DIGNITY in international
water, turned back the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY by threatening to shoot all
on board, then hijacking the SPIRT on July 1, 2009, kidnapping the
passengers and throwing them into prison for a week.

Since 1992, the Turkish Relief Foundation (IHH) has provided
humanitarian assistance to civilians who have been victims of war or
natural disasters all over the world. One of IHH’s main objectives is
to take necessary steps to prevent any violations against civilian
basic rights and liberties. IHH aims at providing relief help so
communities can resume their daily life and stand on their own feet,
as well as strengthening leadership and institutions of communities
that have been made dependent on aid.