Freedom Flotilla Still Waiting for Turkish Authorities’ Permission to Sail to Gaza

FFC Steering Committee, Ann Wright when announcing the postponement of the sailing of the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza in Istanbul, Tuesday, (23/4) evening. (Photo: Nurhadis/MINA)

Istanbul, MINA – The Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC) was forced to postpone its sailing schedule to penetrate the Gaza blockade until Friday, due to permits that have not yet been issued by the Turkiye authorities.

MINA journalist Nurhadis from Istanbul reported that on Wednesday, the FFC Steering Committee, Ann Wright, announced the postponement of the departure schedule again at a meeting in front of FFC participants on Tuesday evening Istanbul time.

The atmosphere at the meeting became tense when one of the participants from England pounded the table and shouted asking the committee to immediately announce the exact schedule for the three ships that would sail across the Mediterranean Sea.

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“In the history of our Flotillas we have never departed on time, some of the Flotillas we have held have always been like this. Any anger or annoyance will not affect the person or departure of this Flotilla. “Please don’t be frustrated, we need high morale and hope,” said Ann.

Ann further said that in 2011 she had carried out a similar mission, overland through Jordan. “When we were in Aqabah we were detained for two weeks, then we went to Amman towards Damascus and were detained for three weeks in Lattakia, until finally we were able to negotiate and enter Gaza. “Be as patient as possible,” she said.

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Ann further said that the FFC High Committee is making maximum efforts so that this ship can sail. “Currently, there are discussions from the FFC High Committee both in Ankara and Istanbul and until now there has been no decision from the authorities to allow the ship to depart. “Because of that, we can’t leave tomorrow,” she said.

After receiving information via telephone from the FFC Supreme Committee, Ann said that the ship, loaded with 5,500 tons of aid, together with more than 1,000 volunteers, would depart on Friday. (T/RE1/P2)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)