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Turkish Court Rejects Claim Against Israel for Mavi Marmara


Footage taken from the "Mavi Marmara" security cameras, showing the activists preparing for an attack against IDF soldiers. May 31, 2010.

Footage taken from the "Mavi Marmara" security cameras, showing the activists preparing for an attack against IDF soldiers. May 31, 2010.
Photo Credit: Photo by IDF Spokesperson / FLASH90.

On Wednesday, Dec. 25, a Turkish court rejected a claim for compensation from the state of Israel by the relatives of a man who died during the battle between Israeli soldiers and anti-Israel protesters who were attempting to breach the internationally-recognized legal blockade of Gaza.

The family of Furkan Doğan, one of nine who died aboard the ship during the raid by Israeli soldiers in May, 2010, was seeking four million Turkish Liras in compensation from Israel, according to Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News.

The basis for denying the claim, the judge wrote, is that Israel, a sovereign nation, cannot be tried in Turkish courts. Most western countries have laws known as “sovereign immunity,” which means sovereign nations and their representatives cannot be sued in courts outside of their own jurisdiction. An example of that on a very local level is that ambassadors from other nations cannot be tried for traffic or other criminal infractions in U.S. courts.

The ruling comes at a time when Israel and Turkey are engaged in discussing compensation Israel voluntarily agreed to pay – with strong “guidance” from the United States government – to the Turkish families of those who died.

The head of the local IHH, the organization behind the anti-Israel protesters attempted breach of Israel’s legal blockade, said that the plaintiffs will appeal the ruling.

In May, 2010, several organized anti-Israel groups boarded several boats, forming a flotilla, in an attempt to breach Israel’s blockade of Gaza.  When other sea vessels had attempted to breach the blockade, the Israeli navy gave repeated warnings and was able to persuade sailors to dock at an Israeli gate near Gaza.  Any humanitarian goods carried by the seafaring protesters were then brought on land, through the checkpoints, and distributed in Gaza.

The passengers aboard the Mavi Marmara refused to turn back and in order to prevent the blockade from being breached, Israeli soldiers were dropped down a rope onto the deck of the boat, where they were beaten.

If a legal blockade is breached even once, it can no longer be enforced.

A September 2011 UN report stated that Israeli soldiers responded with weapons only after those soldiers who were descending onto the sip were met with an “extreme level of violence” from the protesters on the ship.

“The soldiers from the first helicopter were met with an extreme level of violence from a group of passengers on the vessel. They were shot at and attacked with clubs, iron rods, slingshots and knives,” according to the report, which followed Israel’s own investigation.

It said the Israeli soldiers resorted to lethal weapons “in response to the violent resistance faced.”

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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9 Responses to “Turkish Court Rejects Claim Against Israel for Mavi Marmara”

  1. Nathan Katz says:

    a bit of justice, how refreshing.

  2. Lori, in fact there was little in the way of real "humanitarian goods" on those boats. For instance, there was medicine that had already passed the expiration date or was coming close to it.

  3. MERCI….mais pourquoi choisir NOEL pour un agréable cadeau…Les TURCS sont
    Musulmans ( sauf les RESCAPES ARMENIENS ) et les JUIFS NE SONT
    pas— CHRETIENS !!….."it's a joke..man"…..Merci quand même -
    Cela évitera j'espère des nouvelles tentatives du même genre ?

  4. Adam Schmidt says:

    Israel should have sunk that ship!!!

  5. Walter Richards says:

    If Netanayhu allows even one shekel to those terrorist thugs then he should be removed. but of course he won't.
    Tbhat's why israel's postion grows increasingly more precarious

  6. Yechiel Baum says:

    Turkish courts are expected to practice unbiased jurisprudence.The ship's surveillance camera showed that that it was the pirates on board the vessel that initiated the attack against Israel, hence the family of the dead should also be compelled to repay Israel for its expenses to defend itself against the members of the deceased and his family.

    AS their terrorist family member was sent by the Turkish PM, he they should be asking money from the turish pm personally from the pm's vasts assests.

  7. Don Mcglaun says:

    REGARDLESS OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, LOCAL JURISPRUDENCE, OR COMMON SENSE, IN THIS DAY AND AGE IT'S A MOST WELCOME MIRACLE FOR A COURT IN A MUSLEM COUNTRY TO ISSUE SUCH A RULING. WAY TO GO TURKEY!!

  8. ha ha ha.. just another knock on the head for edrogen as though he is not drowning in his own misery now… there is a god

  9. Budd Margolis says:

    What about the international court system ala the Hague?

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