Friends of Palestine against Imperialism and Zionism held a press conference and protested the company named Medkon, which engages in maritime business between Turkey and Israel, on Saturday November 11th, 2023, in Beylikdüzü, Ambarlı, Istanbul. The action took place in front of the Mardaş Port, which is one of the ports that Medkon Perla and Medkon Çanakkale (the two vessels that belong to Medkon) use to carry cargo to Israel, around the time when Medkon Perla had picked up the load and was about to leave. Israel’s ongoing genocide attempt at Gaza that claimed the lives of about 11.000 Palestinians thus far was condemned in the action. Friends of Palestine also pointed out that the Turkish-Israeli trade was going on undisturbedly, even in a time like this, as if nothing had happened.
Friends of Palestine stated in the press conference that the bourgeoisie who continues its trade with Israel has only one motive, i.e., profit. They also emphasized that the shipment of the goods to Israel, while the massacre in Gaza is still going on, should be thought of in the same way as the Soma mine massacre in Turkey nine years ago, where the refusal of the company to take preventative measures to protect its profits cost the lives of 300 workers. Erdoğan and his despotic regime, who have done nothing concrete since the beginning of the massacre, were also called out, and were demanded to cut all ties with Israel and halt the trade. The real call of Friends of Palestine was, however, on the longshore workers. The longshore workers were called on to take heed from their Belgian class brothers and sisters, take organized action, and refuse to load and unload cargo from the ships that commute between Israel and Turkey. Longshore workers also joined the action and raised their voices against Israel.
Friends of Palestine against Imperialism and Zionism’s spokesman Kutlu Dane made the following statement on behalf of the platform:
Boycott against Israel, freedom for Palestine!
No to trade with the Zionist, genocidal, ethnic-cleanser Israel!
Over 10,500 dead, with 4,300 of them children;
Over 26,000 wounded;
Thousands of people who fled to save their lives but were massacred by bombs dropped from above;
Neighborhoods, streets, a whole infrastructure destroyed by bombs dropped from the sky;
18 hospitals rendered inoperable by fuel blockade;
People massacred, dismembered, their bodies torn apart while waiting around the hospitals that did survive…
Just last night Israel massacred a host of civilians, mostly children, by targeting the Shifa hospital in Gaza.
The culprit for all this is the Zionist State of Israel.
While committing these crimes for a month now, this state has also tightened its blockade on the millions of Palestinians living in Gaza even further, almost depriving them of even drinking water, and thus engaged in genocide. Almost no human necessity has been allowed to enter Gaza throughout this month. If even a few aid trucks have been able to enter, what rendered this possible is actions such as this one, where masses all around the world demonstrated their rage against Israel. In the face of this reaction, Israel has been forced to allow some supplies to enter Gaza, however inadequate.
But this situation does not change the fact that Israel is engaged in a genocide in Gaza, accompanied by a relentless blockade!
And while all this is going on, here today at Marport, hundreds of containers are loaded onto the Medkon Perla, a vessel that belongs to the firm Medon, to reach the Port of Ashdod in Israel in a week. Another vessel that belongs to the same company, Medkon Çanakkale, also regularly carries large cargos to Israel. Many other companies play roles in the trade with Israel. But unlike Medkon, they keep their activities secret. We, Friends of Palestine against Imperialism and Zionism, protest mutual maritime trade between the ports of Turkey and Israel!
This trade is rewarding and strengthening Israel, which is strangling the people of Palestine, who are the friends and allies of our toiling people. This allows Israel to carry on with its massacres without any accountability for its crimes. However, defending their land against an enemy supported by the entirety of imperialism, the Palestinian people are asking their friends all over the world to support them in their struggle by any means necessary.
Arming the Palestinian people against its enemy is a legitimate way of support. The Palestinians today understand very well who supplies the weapons they use in self-defense, and who limits himself to the cries of “one minute”, putting on the façade of a so-called protector, and then stabs them in the back.
But as important as this is the boycott, sanctions, and divestment that the Palestinians have been demanding for years. Known as BDS in its acronym form, this set of activities brought the Apartheid South Africa to its knees in the past. It is evident that this act would have important consequences for Israel also, which, like South Africa, also has a relatively small economy. Specifically, today it would be effective immediately in stopping Israel’s massacre.
Therefore, what is needed today is not to keep up with the trade with Israel as if nothing happened, but to block Israel’s access to certain goods and services. The bosses who run the port behind us and send shipments here have proven once again that their only motive is profit, that they cannot have any ethical and conscientious criteria by continuing the trade with Israel in a time like this. The bourgeoisie, who yesterday massacred 300 workers in Soma by declining to take measures to protect their profit, is today supplying necessities from this port to a state that is currently attempting genocide, again to protect its profits.
We call on the workers on this port and all longshore workers of Turkey. Israel is the enemy of us, the workers and toilers. At the heart of capitalism, the system that allows for our exploitation by the bosses, and the robbing of our labor by a handful of parasites, lie the imperialist backers of Israel. When Israel wins, imperialism and capitalism win, and we lose. Therefore, our side is that of the Palestinian people. Let us take heed of the longshore workers in Belgium who refuse to load ships that carry goods to Israel and unite to organize and do the same thing in the ports of Turkey. Do not load the vessels Perla and Çanakkale, do not unload the incoming cargo!
We also call on the government and Erdoğan, who do nothing against the great slaughter the Palestinians face other than uttering lofty words and preparing parades. It is not as if he does not know of the Palestinian people’s call for support. But throughout his stay in power, far from taking steps against Israel, the two countries broke trade records, constantly improved their military and intelligence relations, and were actively approaching one another leading up to the al-Aqsa Flood on October 7th. The flood caught Erdoğan just in the act of fixing all the quirks with Israel and becoming partners in stealing the Palestinian natural gas. Turkey must abandon this policy immediately and end all military, commercial, diplomatic, and academic ties with Israel.
Of course, this cannot be done by appearing to be on the same side as Palestine but working for the interests of NATO and imperialism, who are siding with Israel. The government that claims to be on the Palestinians’ side must shut down the Kurecik military base used by Israel, not the Constitutional Court. If the parliamentarians in the National Assembly are on the side of the Palestinian people, then they must make sure that the Incirlik Airbase – which was used to load fuel to the aircraft that bombed that very same Assembly on July 15th – is shut down, reject Sweden’s NATO membership – which is a project to strengthen NATO –and thus give the adequate response to Israel and the US!
We, the Friends of Palestine against Imperialism and Zionism, are on the side of the Palestinian people, who are friends to our toiling people. We are fighting for their liberation and their victory over Zionism. We are calling on our people to support this struggle. The Palestinian people will triumph; the imperialists, Zionists, and their local allies will be vanquished!
End the maritime trade of Medkon Perla and Medkon Çanakkale with Israel!
Total mobilization against Zionism in the ports of Turkey!
Cut all commercial ties with Israel!
Cut all military ties with Israel!
Turkey out of NATO!
Shut down the Kurecik and Incirlik bases!
Down with the Zionist State of Israel!
From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!