Police raid Islamic charity in Turkey
January 14, 2014 -- Updated 2330 GMT (0730 HKT)
- Turkish police target IHH offices as part of an operation against al Qaeda
- Leaders of the charity suggest the investigation is the work of "Israeli infiltration"
- In 2010, the IHH led ships that sought to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza
- More recently, the Turkish charity has provided aid across its border to war-ravaged Syria
(CNN) -- Turkish police on Tuesday raided the offices of a Turkish Islamic charity on the border with Syria as part of an operation against the al Qaeda terror organization.
Leaders of the charity, known by the acronym IHH, denounced the police investigation, suggesting it was caused by "Israeli infiltration."
The police operation was "against aid organizations helping Syria, to try to stop aid, and against the IHH, because it is the largest charity organization in Turkey," Yasar Kutluay, the IHH's secretary general, said at a news conference Tuesday.
Kutluay went on to call the raid an "ugly operation" by groups that had been "infiltrated by Israel."
Turkey purges police force
The IHH gained international notoriety in 2010, when it led a convoy of ships that sought to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. Israeli commandos launched a botched raid of the IHH-owned passenger ship Mavi Marmara that resulted in the deaths of eight Turks and an American citizen of Turkish descent.
The Mavi Marmara raid ruptured relations between Turkey and Israel, two close allies of the U.S. that had previously enjoyed military, economic and intelligence-sharing ties.
More recently, the IHH had taken the lead in providing humanitarian assistance across the border to war-ravaged Syria.
The organization, which says it does charity work in more than 100 countries, operated soup kitchens and distributed food in camps for displaced people in northern Syria. Its leaders also helped broker the release of Turkish journalists who had been held captive by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Over the last year, several al Qaeda-linked militias have taken root in opposition-controlled northern Syria.
The IHH announced on its official Twitter account that at least one of its employees had been arrested in Tuesday morning's police raid.
Is instability the 'new normal' for Turkey?
Part of complete coverage on
March 7, 2014 -- Updated 1527 GMT (2327 HKT)
The U.S. huffing over Ukraine jars with many after recent U.S.-led interventions, writes Simon Tisdall.
March 8, 2014 -- Updated 0354 GMT (1154 HKT)
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is unapologetic about his government's response to opposition protesters.
March 6, 2014 -- Updated 1653 GMT (0053 HKT)
He's 12 years old and going blind -- so his parents are taking him on a trip to fill his world with beautiful images.
Track star Oscar Pistorius is accused of killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Follow live updates of South Africa's trial of the century.
March 6, 2014 -- Updated 1357 GMT (2157 HKT)
To celebrate International Women's Day, CNN's Leading Women is inviting you to a Tweetchat.
March 6, 2014 -- Updated 2247 GMT (0647 HKT)
Women journalists in the testosterone-fueled world of sports are still the target of abuse.
March 6, 2014 -- Updated 1027 GMT (1827 HKT)
Photographer Zack Seckler's series presents Botswana from between 50 and 500 feet, providing a unique view of the savannah.
March 5, 2014 -- Updated 0218 GMT (1018 HKT)
Concorde is a thing of the past, but a number of companies are racing to release the first supersonic business jet.
March 9, 2014 -- Updated 0228 GMT (1028 HKT)
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
March 7, 2014 -- Updated 1852 GMT (0252 HKT)
From U.S. President Obama's phone call to Russian President Putin, to a python swallowing a crocodile, browse photos from last week.
March 7, 2014 -- Updated 0543 GMT (1343 HKT)
Did you know that the idea to mark road surfaces reportedly came from watching a milk truck drip milk on the road?
The undersea cables wiring the Earth: this is what the Internet actually looks like.
Today's five most popular stories