Ever since Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi went missing in Istanbul, the name Hatice Cengiz has dominated the scene and remained at the forefront of news headlines amid the mysterious aura of the past 13 days.
Hatice Cengiz (born April 6, 1980) presented herself as a freelance researcher of Gulf countries. She engaged to 59-year-old journalist Khashoggi. Hatice graduated from the Sharia college in the University of Istanbul in 2013 and got her MA in 2017 from the Faculty of Social Sciences – History Department at Salahaddin University after finishing a field study about sects in Oman. Later, she joined a study program at the Ibn Khaldun University which is affiliated with the Justice and Development Party, and where Bilal Erdogan holds the post of Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Necmettin Bilal Erdoğan (born 23 April 1981) is a Turkish businessman, the third child of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the President of Turkey.
The Ibn Khaldun University which was founded in 2015 signed educational and cultural cooperation agreements with the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies where the Chairman of the Board of Trustees is Azmi Bishara.
Which party was Hatice Cengiz working for?
Hatice worked with the Turkish charity organization iHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation which is headed by Bulent Yildirim who is close to radical and extremist groups. The Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (İHH) is a conservative Turkish NGO, whose members are predominantly Turkish Muslims, active in more than 100 countries. It was founded in 1992 and was officially registered in 1995. This organization is considered close to the Turkish authorities. It made headlines in 2010 when its chief, Yildirim, organized the Mavi Marmara flotilla under the pretext of breaking the blockade of Gaza and resulting in the death and injury of several people.
The iHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation was accused of being linked to extremist groups, like Al Qaeda, Hamas and ISIS, and of playing a role in recruiting some of the latter groups’ members, dispatching them to conflict areas like Bosnia and Syria to gain fighting experience and providing logistical support to elements of global terror in the Middle East.
In 2003, French Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere testified as an expert witness before an American court and confirmed the Foundation’s important role in what was known as the 2000 millennium attack plots that were set to target the Los Angeles International Airport upon plans by Al-Qaeda.
“The iHH is an NGO, but it was kind of a type of cover-up… in order to obtain forged documents and also to obtain different forms of infiltration for Mujahideen in combat. And also to go and gather these Mujahideens. And finally, one of the last responsibilities that they had was also to be implicated or involved in weapons trafficking,” Bruguiere told the court.
According to the iHH’s official website, there are strong cooperation ties between Yildirim and Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee Chairman Ali bin Sumaikh Al Marri. These ties led to several partnership agreements with Qatari institutions that are on terror lists issued by the Anti-Terror Quartet (Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt). Among these institutions are the Qatari Raf Foundation and Sheikh Eid bin Mohammad Al Thani Charitable Association. This partnership also led to executing joint works in Syria, Yemen, Myanmar and Gaza.
On January 2014, Turkish police raided the iHH’s offices in Kilis near the Syrian borders and confiscated computers. The raid came two weeks after the Foundation was accused of smuggling weapons and ammunition to Syria. The Turkish border guards had seized a Foundation truck carrying weapons after they were notified by the Russians. All charges, however, were dropped after what was known as the coup attempt against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
On July 13, 2018, Hatice interviewed Jaber al-Harmi ,Dar Al-Arab media group’s Executive Director. Al Arab was the first Arabic daily following the independence of Qatar. It was printed between 1972 and 1995 and was relaunched on 18 November 2007 as an e-newspaper which is based in Doha. It is published in the Turkish and English languages and it is affiliated with the Institute of Foreign Policy that’s affiliated with the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
In the interview, she addressed the convergence between Qatar and Iran and the stance of the countries that have boycotted Qatar.
The topic was under the headline “Qatari-Iranian relations and the region’s developments after America’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal,” and in it, Hatice criticized Saudi Arabia in exchange for extending the “olive branch of peace” to the Khomeini regime.
Her affiliation with the iHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation explains her adoption of the Iranian approach, and this was clearly seen via her tweets that are in line with the policies of the organization whose head is well-known for his strong ties with the Iranian regime and his support of Khomeini policies.
Sources close to Hatice’s family said the family did not know their daughter was engaged to Khashoggi and were surprised to hear the news which they only learnt via media reports, adding that Hatice does not live in the same house with her family.
For a more info or rectifications, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org