Turkey to blame for loss of life on Mavi Marmara

Turkey's PM, Recep Tayyip Erdogan: Guilty of Manslaughter? (asianews.it)

Turkey didn’t pull the triggers that led directly to the deaths of nine pro-Palestinian activists on the Mavi Marmara, Israeli soldiers did. But Turkey recklessly started a process that ended it tragedy. In legal terms, this would be manslaughter.

When I awoke on monday morning I couldn’t believe the news: How could Israel kill activists like this? It seemed inexplicable.

However hostile the activists might have been towards Israel they should all be alive today. As David Grossman writes, their opinions “do not deserve the death penalty”.

As more footage was released we saw Israel’s botched operation in full flow.

One by one soldiers descended from a helicopter totally exposed and vulnerable to what was below. The Israeli navy had just asked the Mavi Marmara to direct itself to Israel’s Ashdod port to inspect the cargo. Such warning allowed the ship’s activists to fully prepare.

We’ve all seen the beatings and stabbings that took place, reminiscent of the Ramallah lynchings when two Israeli soldiers lost their way and were beaten to death with a Palestinian participant proudly showing-off his blood drenched hands.

Israel had a right to inspect the cargo, even in international waters, and when the boat refused Israel took the fateful decision to land soldiers on it. In hindsight it was the wrong decision. Anything would have been better than what than took place, even allowing the boat to reach Gaza.

But once the decision was taken to seize the boat for inspection of its cargo the Israeli soldiers were attacked and they defended themselves. They were beaten with metal bars, stabbed and shot at. Seven were injured, two critically.

The Israeli government’s naivety was in not knowing what it was up against. The seven ship flotilla painted itself as a mercy mission. But time and time again we have seen how violent many self-styled human rights activists actually are.

In January last year during Operation Cast Lead activists rampaged through London causing physical destruction and violently attacking and injuring the police. So what does Israel do? It drops soldiers one-by-one to a potential lynching by similar people.

It was a recipe for a tragedy. However many good-intentioned people were on board the seven ship flotilla it cannot obscure the fact that many thugs were also on board; thugs that have no care whatsoever for human life on either side. For them the cause is all.

But the real criminal in all this is Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recep Erdogan.

Last time round when a Viva Palestina convoy tried to enter Gaza via Egypt an Egyptian border guard was killed by a Palestinian sniper. This loss of life did not justify a repeat performance but this is what Erdogan authorised to depart from his country’s shores yet again.

Now more deaths but this time at the hands of Israeli soldiers, not Palestinians, hence the worldwide condemnation.

Erdogan’s intentions have been suspect for a while. He met with Hamas leader, Khaled Mashaal, in 2006, claimed Israel deliberately kills children in Gaza and has called on his people to learn to make money like Jews do. Erdogan also supports Hezbollah.

In 2008 Erdogan met Sudanese President al-Bashir with full honours. Bashir has since been indicted on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur where the UN alleges that 300,000 people have been killed by Bashir’s regime.

A recent series on Turkey’s state-controlled television depicted Israeli soldiers kidnapping children, shooting babies and old men and lining up groups of Palestinians to execute them.

There is little press freedom in Turkey. Jewish groups have reported hundreds of anti-Semitic articles in the Turkish press recently. There are 23,000 Jewish Turks among a population of more than 70 million Muslims.

With this kind of government-sponsored rhetoric it is easy to see how the population can be so easily whipped up into an anti-Israel, even anti-Jewish, frenzy.

The spirit of openess in Turkey, which was created as a modern, secular democracy in 1923 by Kemal Ataturk, is now on the wane.

Turkey is quickly becoming an Islamist state just like Iran after 1979, but in a less violent, more incremental way.

Turkey has long mirrored Iran in its oppression of its Kurdish population. There are 20-25 million Kurds in Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. Calls for a unified Kurdistan have fallen on deaf ears.

12 million of these Kurds live in southeast Turkey and a 15 year civil war left 35,000 people dead.

A recent Turkish parliamentary vote (507 for, 19 against) endorsed a Turkish invasion of Iraqi Kurdistan, the Kurdish autonomous enclave, after cross-border raids into Turkey have left soldiers and civilians dead.

Turkey’s Kurdish problem virtually mirrors Israel’s Palestinian one.

But for Turkey there is still no Kurdish people and it is forbidden to teach in Kurdish in Turkey.

If Turkey continues on the path taken by Iran it will be a tragedy for all its people.

There is one hope; Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who now heads the main secular opposition party, CHP, which was founded by Kemal Ataturk, himself.

Kilicdaroglu could rid Turkey of being governed by Erdogan’s corrupt Islamist AKP party, which has been in power since 2002, in next year’s elections.

The election of Turkey’s “Ghandi” could be a positive move for many, including Israelis and Palestinians.


9 responses to “Turkey to blame for loss of life on Mavi Marmara

  1. flotillaterrorshit

    I would like to be the first to greet all the yucky people who support terror to the comments section of this article.


    Go on.

    Defend the indefensible.

    Humanitarian my arse.

    Great work Richard.

  2. Well, someone had to take the idiot’s viewpoint on this and it happens to be you. Don’t you know the game is up? Don’t you realise just how ridiculous your Zionist standard line ‘someone else is to blame’ really is. Did you know that Israel has quite hastily returned all Turkish citizens, no questions asked, apparently to Turkish army ambulance planes landing on Holy Land soil? They know what time it is in Israel…

    I was originally quite surprised by the barrage of International condemnation, believing Israel’s Hasbara regarding ‘terrorists on board’ might still cut some sway with the usually cautious IC (once bitten, twice shy). But it seems no one buys Israel’s bullshit anymore: so some hotheads were defending themselves or attacking the special ops (I must admit that the special op guy who was pushed from the upper deck to the lower made me laugh: he didn’t see that one coming ;-)), it seems people worldwide are concentrating on the Big Picture and that involves a useless siege, a risible ‘naval blockade’ (so called because of Israel’s navel staring?), a disastrous settlement policy, the storming of ships carrying humanitarian aid and Israel’s two-fingers-to-the-world ‘foreign policy’… In short, it seems the ‘Bulwark against Islamofascism!’ thingy now only works for internal use and for Zionist masturbatory purposes (which is the only real use it ever had).

    Seriously looking Israeli spokes persons have begun to inform us in impeccable English of the ‘legalese’ and no one give a crap. And considering the general make-up of the people on board, trying to connect them to al-Qaeda (who must nonetheless be having a field day with this – talk about a massive own goal) will further reinforce the impression that those in charge of Israel have gone bonkers in the bunker.

    There’ll be increased talk of ‘antiiii-Seeemitism’ by Israelis and their supporters but people are getting tired of that song too. Israel is being ‘singled out’, as it should be: the mix of self-proclaimed victimhood in their ‘tough neighbourhood’, mixed in with references to past genuine Jewish suffering is past its sell by date too…

    ‘This time we went too far… again‘!

    There will be an inquiry, may be even a Goldstone II but it will change very little: the people worldwide aren’t so much interested in what happened on the boat, blow by blow, shot by shot, as they are in the bigger picture: siege, naval blockade, settlement policy, Israel’s general arrogance and lies and distortions that are part of it ‘foreign policy’… We’re just not buying it anymore. An ‘internal’ inquiry could even be damaging because it won’t address the wider points and will naturally try and deflect some of the blame…

    In terms of Israel’s gaffes, it’s broken a glass ceiling.

  3. “flotillaterrorshit”:

    I’m sure there will be a small flotilla of Israel apologists sailing this way and you’ll all be able to feel smug and Righteous but no one’s going to listen to you lot. Rest assured…

  4. I fully endorse the viewpoint that the blood of the dead in this incident stains the hands of the flotilla organiser Bülent Yıldırımı, leader of the Hamas and al-Qaeda-linked IHH; and ultimately – and this is a personal viewpoint, – the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

    Erdoğan has been baiting Israel since Davos, cashing in what was once an exceptional bilateral relationship for some (ultimately short-lived) kudos from the Arab/Muslim world – who have never really regarded Turks, with their liberal media, pop music culture and relatively liberal social morés and dress codes – as ‘proper’ Muslims. He has also been winding things up domestically.

    Israel has most definitely made a hash of things, however, with some appalling command decisions and the usual lack of media nous, but the basic facts remain and are supported by hard evidence (thank goodness the IDF people on the ground had the foresight to pack their camcorders):

    The boarding was NOT an attack, but a legitimate response to the refusal of the Captain of the Mavi Maramara to respect Israel’s sovereignty and divert to Ashdod Port, whereupon the ‘aid’ would be transported to Gaza by road, under the supervision of the ‘activists’ (which is exactly what has now happened).

    There is video and audio evidence of this radio exchange. There is also ample video evidence of the lynching waiting for the young Israeli sailors as they boarded – they were attacked by thugs armed with iron bars, knives, firebombs, stones, catapults – and guns.

    Where are the soi-disant journalists in all of this? Bloggers apart, I would have thought that more than a handful of scribes would have asked the glaring, uncomfortable questions about such as:

    What were ‘Humanitarian Peace Activists’ doing being so heavily armed?

    Why was the IHH, with its known connections to Hamas and al-Qaeda, even allowed to even set sail from a country that supposedly espouses opposition to Islamic terrorism?

    But no, it seems that only one narrative has been allowed to gain currency – that of the ‘Free Gaza’ lslamo-leftist alliance.

    The fact remains, that had the ‘aid’ flotilla been precisely that – and not the sea-borne, armed-to-the-teeth Islamic thug-fest that is was in reality, there would have been no dead; because the IDF would have been allowed to board the vessel and found all in order.

    But, as ever with Islamists, violent Allah-inspired savagery was never far away.

  5. Want 2 know why there is no peace in the miidle east?? Sorry to all u righteous indignant anti isreal( & yes just mayb a liitle anti -semitic as well) great minds but even if there were no Israel there still would b Turks/Kurds ; syria/lebanon; Sunni /Shiite etc etc. A very complex region that became more so during colonialism ( remember THAT occupation)?? NO ONE OUTSIDE THE REGION HAS ANY RIGHT 2 make judgments. I spent a lg part of my life living & studying there. All over & it is unfortunate how easily certain factions became slaves to others. Americans kill over there all the time. No big deal. “price of war” that we have no reason to b involved in any way? (except economically).. It goes on 4 ever. Trust me on this. Go live amongst them. Learn their languages. Then form ur opinions.

  6. 2003 Rachel Corrie and 2010 Mavi Marmara. I protest Israel’s crimes on unarmed and civilian people.

  7. Oooh. A devoted disciple of St.Pancake 🙂

    I protest the fact that you and your ignorant ilk use ideology, not facts to form conclusions; completely ignoring salient facts and evidence, to reinforce your own silly-arse lefty/Islamo-nutter beliefs.