Two thousand Palestinian couples were married in Gaza city on Sunday in a mass wedding ceremony funded jointly by Turkey’s Religious Affairs Presidency and Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA).
Many offiicials from TIKA took part in the ceremony as well as deputy head of Hamas’ political office Ismail Haniyeh, its officials and ministers of the Government of National Reconciliation of Palestine.
‘’Turkey is very pleased to stand by you in this day with its government and its public. Turkey will always help the Palestinians.’’ said TIKA coordinator in Palestine, Bulent Korkmaz in his speech at the ceremony. He also expressed his felicity and pride to stand with Gazan people who deserves an honorable life.
Korkmaz added that the event, held for the anniversary of the Mavi Marmara raid, is an evidence that Turkey stands by Palestinians.
In his speech during the mass wedding ceremony at the Yarmouk Stadium, Haniyeh said Turkey stands by Palestinians in every respects and thanked the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, thegovernment and Turkish people.
‘’When I visited Turkey, I met with families of the martyrs [victims of Mavi Marmara flotilla raid]. I saw Gaza and Palestine are important for them. They told me even their most valuable assets, their children, were notmore valuable than than al Quds and Gaza,’’ said Haniyeh.
Israel raided Mavi Marmara flotilla in international waters that had sailed to break the blockade of Gaza Strip in 2010 and killed nine Turkish activists, other 30 were injured.
He also announced Turkey would provide 4 million dolar-cost assist for the married couples, as well as Turkey’s plan to built 20 buildings that consists of 340 housings for Gazan people who left homeless in recent attacks of Israel.
‘’Turkish aid organizations have played a significant role to cover the wounds of Gaza and today it [Turkey] joins in our wedding ceremony as the most supporting country to us.’’ he added.
Approximately 2 million people in Gaza have been deprived of basic needs under Israeli blockade.
In July and August 2014, Israel launched the 51-day ‘Operation Protective Edge’ in Gaza Strip and killed more than 2,100 people, including mostly women and children and injured other 11,000.
According to data released by Palestinian Human Rights Centres, nearly 70,000 Palestinians in different regions of Gaza Strip took shelter at schools of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).