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Main opposition leader says his party planing to take humanitarian aid to Palestine

Ozgur Ozel

Chairman of the Republican People's Party (CHP) Özgür Özel gestures as he addresses a speech at his party's group meeting at the Turkish parliament on November 14, 2023. (Photo by Adem ALTAN / AFP)

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Özgür Özel said on Tuesday that his party had initiated diplomatic efforts to travel to Palestine at the earliest opportunity to provide humanitarian aid to the people there in the wake of ongoing attacks from Israel.

“We have launched efforts to go to Palestine as soon as possible to deliver humanitarian assistance,” Özel said.

The CHP leader said his party had sent letters to the leaders of left-wing, social democratic parties worldwide, emphasizing the need for people who espouse leftist values to not remain silent about the events in Gaza and highlighting the urgency to stop the massacre in Palestine, facilitate a ceasefire and bring peace to the region.

“The suffering in Palestine began with Hamas crossing the border, inflicting the greatest harm on the people. Israel, in response, escalated the situation almost to the level of genocide. Some 13,300 people have lost their lives, and the number of children killed has reached 4,600. Despite being faced with such immense oppression, the world’s most powerful figures lapsed into silence. … What they should do is put an end to this injustice,” Özel underlined.

The CHP leader added that he would attend events sponsored by the Council of the Socialist International, an international organization of political parties that seek to establish democratic socialism, as a party chairman and would not hesitate to express these views there.

87 Turkish, KKTC citizens evacuated from Gaza arrive in İstanbul

Meanwhile, 87 people, citizens of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) who were evacuated from Gaza due to Israeli attacks, arrived in İstanbul on Monday night via Egypt, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The Turkish Airlines plane carrying 27 KKTC citizens and 60 Turkish citizens landed at İstanbul Airport after taking off from Cairo International Airport. Representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and officials from the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) welcomed the returning citizens.

Israel launched heavy airstrikes on the Gaza Strip in retaliation for an unprecedented Hamas incursion on Oct. 7 that resulted in an estimated 1,200 deaths and 240 hostages being taken to Gaza.

According to the latest data received from Gaza’s health ministry, Israeli strikes across Gaza have resulted in the deaths of at least 13,000 people and injured 30,000 more, also leading to the internal displacement of 1.6 million — approximately two-thirds of Gaza’s population.

The attacks also targeted several hospitals, including the enclave’s sole cancer treatment facility, the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital.

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