In a show of global solidarity for Palestinians, first ladies from different countries gathered in Istanbul Wednesday for a summit hosted by Emine Erdoğan, where the Turkish first lady called on all the first ladies in the world to be “a voice of Gaza,” and to stop Israeli attacks that killed thousands of Palestinians so far.
The “One Heart for Palestine” summit, held at the presidential office in Istanbul’s Dolmabahçe, a diplomatic hub used by Turkish officials to address world crises, delivered a powerful message for the civilians caught in the Gaza Strip, specifically considering vicious Israeli attacks that have escalated since Oct. 7, signifying a new phase in the Palestine-Israel conflict.
Giving the opening speech at the summit, the Turkish first lady condemned Tel Aviv for atrocities in the region and its recently escalated threats to drop a bomb upon Palestinians.
Already, Israel has claimed over 11,000 lives, including those of children.
Erdoğan called for “global consciousness,” saying: “The ground in the region has turned to be a hell, while the underground has turned into a necropolis of children; it is never possible for any promised future to materialize there.”
Bir Filistin hayalimiz var. Yıkıntıların arasında toprak kokusunu, kan kokusunun bastırmadığı, çocukların ölmemek için yalvarmadığı bir Filistin…
Bugün bu hayale olan inancımızla “Filistin İçin Tek Yürek Zirvesi”nde, kıymetli lider eşleri, bakanlar ve uluslararası temsilcilerle… pic.twitter.com/UXK4hM6Asg
— Emine Erdoğan (@EmineErdogan) November 15, 2023
“Who can ever feel really safe in an order that has been built upon such destruction,” she asked in the key gathering, where noteworthy attendees included first ladies from Palestine, Qatar, Senegal, Malaysia, Uzbekistan, the Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Bosnia Herzegovina, Lebanon, Scotland, Pakistan, Libya, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Turkmenistan.
First ladies from Azerbaijan, Brazil, and Venezuela sent video messages to the significant gathering.
“Era of shame”
The Turkish First Lady described what has been happening in Gaza for the last 40 days as “the era of shame.”
Erdoğan has been outspoken in her criticism of Israel and has consistently advocated for aid to Palestinians who lack basic necessities in the besieged Gaza Strip.
“We will never surrender to this darkness that discriminates a life from another, that devalues everyone who is not like it,” she underlined.
“For this reason, I invite the spouses of all heads of state to be the voice of those killed in Gaza and those whose voices are being suppressed and silenced while a mass slaughter continues,” she added.
She reiterated the call for “cease-fire, peace and humanitarian aid,” adding that all first ladies should unite their words for an immediate cease-fire: “What you see is not a war, it is strong exploiting weak.”
“Let us make this summit a concrete initiative taken for peace in Palestine,” she emphasized.
“We owe a future for Gazan youth that is suitable for human dignity other than either to kill or being killed,” the first lady underscored.
“That is why now is the time to establish the long-overdue peace promised by the two-state solution, which includes a fully independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and whose territorial integrity is preserved,” she underscored.
Wives of state leaders gather in Istanbul under the patronage of Türkiye's first lady Emine Erdogan in solidarity with Palestine pic.twitter.com/fzfmWPRm2S
— TRT World (@trtworld) November 15, 2023
“For the peace and tranquility of the region and even the world, the unjust occupation of Palestine (by Israel) must end and Israel must return the lands it seized to its owner, the Palestinians,” she advised.
She further asserted, “Gaza must be rebuilt from its ruins to offer a bright future for its children.”
“A fund should now be established within international organizations such as the U.N. and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to rebuild the schools, parks and hospitals destroyed by Israel,” she suggested.
“Mothers should kiss their children to sleep, not to their graves,” she added.
This summit echoed a similar initiative organized by the Turkish first lady in 2009 titled “Women for Peace in Palestine,” which convened first ladies amid heightened conflict in Gaza.
In response to the recent escalation in the Palestine-Israel conflict, Türkiye has come together at the national and presidential levels to put an end to the violence against Palestinian civilians through diplomatic efforts and humanitarian aid.
Since Oct. 7, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been actively engaging in meetings and phone calls with leaders from 27 countries, advocating for the rights of Palestinians on the international stage and urgently calling for a cease-fire.
Türkiye firmly supports a “two-state solution” and advocates for the establishment of a fully independent Palestinian state as the only permanent resolution to the issue.
Türkiye has made various efforts to assist Palestinians in need. Emine Erdoğan, alongside the president, is a prominent advocate for the Palestinian cause, emphasizing the importance of establishing an independent Palestinian state. She also oversees initiatives to offer treatment and shelter to children affected by the conflict in besieged cities.
Source: Daily Sabah
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