Qa-15, 21 March 2017, Statement Of The Spokesperson Of The Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Hüseyin Müftüoğlu, In Response To A Question On Tika’s Gaza Office Local Employee Who Was Arrested By Israeli Authorities , 21.03.2017
Muhammed Mortaja, local staff of TİKA Office in Gaza was arrested on 12
February 2017 by the Israeli authorities at the Erez crossing when he
arrived to travel to Turkey to participate in a professional seminar in
line with the permit obtained from the Israeli authorities through the
usual official process. No information was shared with Turkey prior to this
incident by the Israeli authorities about Mortaja who has been employed by
TİKA Office since 2012.
The situation of TİKA Gaza Office employee Mortaja and the procedures
launched by the Israeli authorities are being closely followed.
Complementary information has been asked from the relevant Israeli
It is a well-known fact by the public and the host countries that TİKA
follows duly the principles of transparency and cooperation set by
international standards in the projects it realizes around the world.
TİKA’s development assistance activities in Gaza are also being carried
with this understanding under Palestinian authorities’ consent and within
the knowledge of the Israeli government, and therefore any attempt
affecting the security of the parties has never been tolerated or allowed.
The judicial process on Mortaja is underway. The basis of the claims made
in the indictment reflected today in the press needs to be examined.
Meanwhile, all relevant legal support necessary for protecting Mortaja’s
rights is being provided. It is a basic principle of law that one is
considered innocent unless proven guilty through a fair trial.
On behalf of the Turkish people, TİKA will continue in the future as in the
past, its projects with diligence and devotion in order to alleviate the
plight of the Palestinian people, including in Gaza, which emanates from
the 50-year long occupation.