January 15, 2014 | Quote
Turkish ‘Humanitarian’ Charity Raided by Police over Allegations of Shipping Arms to Syria
An Islamic group that was widely characterized as a “humanitarian” charity during the 2010 Gaza flotilla incident is now in the crosshairs of Turkish anti-terror police who raided their offices on Tuesday and detained 28 over suspicions of involvement in smuggling weapons to Al-Qaeda-linked jihadi rebels in Syria.
In an unusual twist, a leading Turkish news site reports that at least two senior police officials involved in the raids were dismissed from their positions after leading the searches of the Islamist group that is reported to be close to the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
According to Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News, offices of the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) were searched simultaneously in six separate provinces by police, including in Istanbul and in Kilis near the Syrian border.
“This is a phenomenon we also witnessed after arrests and raids were made in the ongoing corruption probes,” Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies told TheBlaze on Wednesday. “The Turkish government has been trying to mitigate damage by purging those involved. It’s a deeply troubling trend.”