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September 24, 2016 / 21 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘MV Mavi Marmara’

Erdogan Rebukes Gaza Flotilla Organizers for Undermining Israel Deal

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Wednesday criticized the Turkish charity group IHH for sabotaging his reconciliation with Israel. The Turkish president insisted the deal is good for the Palestinians, for Turkey, and for Israel.

Erdoğan spoke during an iftar dinner (the meal at the end of the daily Ramadan fast) at the presidential complex in Ankara. He said that the flotilla organizers never asked his permission to sail to Gaza in 2010, when he was a prime minister, causing a needless diplomatic crisis erupted between Turkey and Israel.

Erdoğan’s frontal attack came after the Humanitarian Relief Foundation IHH on Monday criticized the deal saying it amounted to acceptance of the Israeli blockade.

“We were already delivering the same amount of humanitarian aid to Gaza, but without making a show of it. Now we have Israel’s promise, all aid supplies to Gaza will be permitted from now on,” Erdoğan said. He announced that a Turkish ship with 11,000 tons of humanitarian aid is ready to leave for Gaza this Friday, noting that this will become a routine from now on, no need for showboating, so to speak.

Last Monday, after months of talks between the two countries, Turkey and Israel announced that a deal normalizing their relations would be signed. Under the deal, Turkey would be allowed to send humanitarian shipments to Gaza which would be delivered to the Asdod harbor in Israel, examined for contraband and trucked to Gaza; and Israel will pay $20 million in reparations to the families of the Mavi Marmara casualties.

IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation is a conservative Turkish NGO, whose members are predominantly Turkish Muslims, active in more than 100 countries. Established in 1992 and officially registered in Istanbul in 1995, İHH provides humanitarian relief in areas of war, earthquake, hunger, and conflict. The İHH holds Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council since 2004.

Two IHH employees were detained for alleged links to al-Qaida, in a Turkish anti-terrorism police raids on January 13, 2014. An IHH spokesman said that police searched its office in Kilis, near the border with Syria, and detained one of its employees. Another IHH employee was detained in Kayseri after police raided his home.

The current president of the İHH, Fehmi Bülent Yıldırım, has been under investigation by specially authorized prosecutors in Istanbul and Diyarbakır for allegedly financing al-Qaeda through his organization. Yildirim also led a memorial service for Chechen leader Shamil Basayev in 2006.

Erdoğan also said that the normalization of relations with Russia and Israel is based on a “win-win” principle. “In other words, both Turkey and Russia must win, both Turkey and Israel must win,” he said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Erdoğan had a phone conversation with Russian president Vladimir Putin, on the way to normalizing relations between the two countries, some seven months after Turkey had downed a Russian jet that it claimed crossed from Syrian into Turkish airspace despite repeated warnings.

JNi.Media

New Campaign: No Israeli Should Vacation in Turkey Until Our Brothers are Home from Gaza

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Enough Already!

Israel is bending over backwards to normalize relations with Turkey — it’s unbelievable, Israel is apologizing for killing the Turkish terrorists who tried killing IDF soldiers on the Mavi Marmara and Israel is paying $20 million dollars in reparations to the families of the killed Turkish terrorists.

This is the same Turkey which maintains a very special relationship with the Hamas terror organization – even allowing Hamas to operate on Turkish soil.

We Israelis must REFUSE NORMALIZATION WITH TURKEY

Until the bodies of St. Sgt. Oron Shaul and Lt. Hadar Goldin, two soldiers killed during Operation Protective Edge in 2014 and their bodies stolen by Hamas, are returned home to Israel from Gaza; and until the two missing Israelis in Gaza, Avraham “Abera” Mengistu and a Bedouin man from the South, are returned back to Israel — we must refuse all normalization with Hamas’s ally, Turkey.

NO VACATIONS IN TURKEY

Tell your family and friends — NO vacationing in Turkey before our soldiers are home!

Shame the travel agencies who are planning tours there!

Shame the ad agencies in Israel who will promote tourism there!

Shame those who will vacation there — until our brothers are home.


Jameel@Muqata

Family of American Killed in Flotilla Raid Suing Ehud Barak, But Accounts Suggest Not Guilty

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

(JNi.media) The parents of a young American who lived in Turkey and was killed on board the Marmara in the flotilla to Gaza in 2010, filed a civil suit in a Los Angeles court against Ehud Barak, who served as Israel’s Defense Minister at the time. The plaintiffs allege that their son, Furkan Doğan, was shot five times, once in the head at close range.

Furkan Doğan was born to ethnic Turkish parents in Troy, New York on October 20, 1991, precisely 24 years to the day prior to the lawsuit. He moved to Turkey at the age of two. His father, Ahmet Doğan, graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with an MBA in accounting, and works as assistant professor of accounting at Erciyes University in Kayseri, Turkey.

Doğan was not too interested in politics, according to the NY Times’ Roger Cohen. It’s not clear, then, why he decided to participate in the Gaza Flotilla. His father said “Furkan was a US citizen only and he never thought that he would be killed since he was an American citizen.” But his final diary entry written on the ship, reveals a zeal for martyrdom: “It is the last hours to martyrdom, insha’Allah [God willing]. I am wondering if there is a more beautiful thing. The more beautiful thing is only my mother, but I’m not sure. The comparison is very difficult. Martyrdom or my mother? Now, the hall has been evacuated. So far people were not serious, but they have become serious recently.”

According to Reuters, the civil case is being brought by some of the same human rights lawyers who have been attempting, to push on the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague to launch a criminal investigation of the Marmara case.

According to IDF accounts consolidated by Wikipedia, the MV Mavi Marmara was part of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, organized by the Free Gaza Movement and the Turkish Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (İHH). It claimed to be carrying humanitarian aid and construction materials, in an attempt to ram through the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of the Gaza Strip. Israel, which questioned the humanitarian motives of flotilla organizers, said they were welcome to unload their cargo in Ashdod, in southern Israel, to be trucked to Gaza following an inspection—but they refused.

On May 30, at 11 PM, the Israeli Navy’s three warships, UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, and 71 commandos made contact with the flotilla, some 120 miles northwest of Gaza, 80 miles off the coast of southern Lebanon, in international waters, and ordered the ships to follow them to port in Israel or be boarded.

After a failed attempt to board the Marmara from speedboats, the Navy sent in the Black Hawk with a 15-man assault team on board. A rope was dropped from the helicopter to the ship’, but three passengers tied it to the deck. A second rope was dropped and the soldiers started sliding down to the deck. Each soldier was met by a group of violent passengers who assaulted him with makeshift weapons. The commandos responded with their less-lethal weapons and tried to physically fight off the passengers.

Three Israelis were captured. The first, the commanding officer of the assault team, was roping down from the helicopter when he was attacked by ten men before his feet hit the deck. He was beaten across his body and head, then picked up and thrown to the lower deck, where he was attacked by a dozen passengers. They beat and choked him, removed his bulletproof vest and sidearm and smashed his helmet, and shoved him into a passenger hall below deck.

JNi.Media

Israeli, Turkish Officials Meet to Mend Broken Ties

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

After more than a year of silence, Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold – a former Israeli ambassador – met Monday in Rome with his Turkish counterpart, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu.

The two men sat away from the glare of media cameras and quietly began to renew the contacts between Jerusalem and Ankara, along with other senior Israeli and Turkish officials. Gold, an appointee and longtime associate of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, was tasked with exploring the potential for cooperation between Israel and Turkey.

The move comes in the wake of Turkey’s recent parliamentary polls, which left the AK Party led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the minority for the first time in a decade. This has opened the possibility that Turkey, a former ally, might consider renewing its diplomatic ties with the Jewish State.

Erdogan pulled Turkey’s ambassador from Israel and cancelled three joint military drills following clashes aboard a flotilla vessel owned by the Turkish IHH organization. The Mavi Marmara was participating in a six-vessel flotilla (three were Turkish-flagged) sent to deliberately – illegally — breach Israel’s maritime blockade around Gaza.

The terror activists on board the ship launched an attack on Israeli commandos who boarded to redirect the vessel to Ashdod port. Eight Turkish-born fighters and one American, all of whom were armed, died in the battle. The incident prompted venomous rhetoric from Erdogan, who immediately cut ties with Israel.

In a gesture of conciliation, Israel eventually apologized for operational errors that might have led to the deaths of the Turkish nationals and offered compensation to their families. Nevertheless, then-Prime Minister Erdogan was not appeased and refused to renew ties unless Israel also dropped its blockade of Gaza, a security measure that helps prevent terror groups in the enclave from importing weapons and other contraband from their generous Iranian benefactor.

Although Israel had discussed dropping the blockade, the escalation of rocket attacks against the south led to a counter terror war in Gaza last summer. This prompted Erdogan to rev up his offensive rhetoric anew against the State of Israel. Once again, the Turkish leader found a reason to sabotage renewal of ties, claiming the attack on Gaza by Israel proved Jerusalem “does not want normalization.”

Although trade has continued uninterrupted throughout, diplomatic communication has been maintained with Israel via the director of the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

Oddly, the stores in the Jewish State have been and still are filled to the brim with Turkish products, from housewares to clothing to food stuffs and more.

Even during Operation Protective Edge last summer, Israel allowed Turkish pilots to land and take off from Israeli airports in order to airlift medical patients from Gaza.

There has, however, been a complete halt to Israeli tourism to Turkey, a sector which once brought millions from Israel to the Turkish economy.

Within Turkey itself, the Israeli embassy in Ankara and the consulate in Istanbul both came under vicious attack by mobs last summer; the Jewish community also felt Islamist rage. Jews were told by some AK Party-linked columnists they should “pay” for the “crimes” of Israel in Gaza. They were egged on by Erdogan’s anti-Israel remarks.

Other Turkish citizens, appalled by the outpouring of hatred, denounced the rhetoric and called for a show of brotherhood with their Jewish neighbors. They reminded the public that Jews have contributed to Turkish society for more than two thousand years. Jews were found living in Anatolia, in fact, as far back as 2,400 years ago.

Compared to the many thousands of Jews who once graced the flagship nation of the Ottoman Empire, however, the current Jewish community in Turkey is very small and maintains a low profile due to fears of reprisal. Upon the rebirth of the State of Israel in 1948, there were 80,000 Jews living in Turkey: today there are only 17,300 out of a total population of 70 million.

Few are willing to publicly identify themselves as Jews; even fewer are Torah observant. Most have assimilated and do their best to blend completely into Turkish society. They are aided in this effort by the majority contention that in Islam a man may marry a Jewish woman. Those who are worried about their daughters marrying out of the faith or their descendants disappearing from the Judaic Tree of Life have made – or are making – plans to emigrate. Those who do not either remain in order to strengthen those who cannot leave, may no longer feel the issue is relevant, or have simply given up.

Yet it was the Ottomans under Sultan Orhan who gave permission in 1324 to Jews living in Bursa to build the Etz ha-Hayyim (Tree of Life) Synagogue, which remained in service until just 50 years ago. Western European Jews were invited by Muslim sultans to immigrate to the Empire twice, and once by Rabbi Yitzhak Sarfati (1454) during the time of the Ottomans. Four cities in particular became centers of Sephardic Jewry during that time: Istanbul, Salonica, Tzefat (which later returned to Israel by way of the British Mandate) and Izmir (also known as Smyrna), where the Tu B’Shevat seder was developed in the 17th century.

According to the 2015 Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Global 100 index of anti-Semitism, 69 percent of Turkish citizens hold some type of anti-Semitic belief. During Operation Protective Edge, there were 30,000 Turkish-language positive tweets about Hitler and Nazi atrocities against Jews. A Pew Research Center Poll found in November 2014 that 86 percent of Turkish citizens hold a negative view of Israel.

It is hard to be Jewish in today’s Turkey, where hatred of Israel, the Jewish State, has been publicly nurtured and encouraged from the very echelons of government. One questions whether renewal of ties between the two countries will come in time to reverse this terrible trend, or whether it is already too late.

Hana Levi Julian

Hamas Pushing Erdogan to Reignite Strife with Israel over Gaza Harbor

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

According to the Al Qassam website, Hamas MP Jamal Al-Khudari has said that the visit to Gaza by Turkish premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan would be an opportunity to discuss with the Turks the project of upgrading the Gaza harbor. The article’s translation was provided by MEMRI.

Al-Khudari told Quds Press last week that Arab and Islamic parties had promised to upgrade the Gaza harbor, to enable it to work as an important import-export port for the coastal strip.

The 48,000 square meter Gaza harbor is 970 meters in depth and is currently only used by fishermen who are kept within six nautical miles off the coast by the Israel.

Following the June, 2007 Hamas takeover of Gaza, both Egypt and Israel decided to impose a land, air, and sea blockade on the Gaza Strip, on the grounds that Fatah had fled and was no longer providing security on the Arab side. Egypt was also concerned that a Hamas spillover would ignite unrest in its own cities.

The blockade has been kept more and less rigidly, depending on the severity of rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza. In May, 2010, the Israeli Navy seized a convoy of six ships known as the “Gaza Freedom Flotilla,” organized by the Free Gaza Movement and the Turkish Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (İHH). The convoy’s aim was to break through the blockade. Israeli naval commandos boarded the ships in international waters. On the Turkish MV Mavi Marmara, the main ship of the convoy, passengers attacked and captured three soldiers. After failing to disperse the attackers, soldiers resorted to live fire. Nine passengers were killed and dozens wounded. Nine soldiers were also injured, two of them seriously.

Despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent apology for the unfortunate event, its remnants are still hovering in the air between Turkey and Israel. Both countries, for a variety of reasons, are eager to restore normalcy: the Turks because Israeli tourism in the past injected a great deal of cash into their economy; the Israelis because they desire a safe haven for mid-way landing should they decide to attack Iranian nuclear facilities.

But if Hamas is able to drag Turkey into making good on its promise, and becoming a partner in the project, it would pose a difficult challenge to Israel. Being able to control the traffic of goods into Gaza has enabled Israel to manage a rather successful policy of carrots and sticks with Hamas. Without recognizing the Hamas government officially, Israel has been able to open its border crossings with Gaza for incoming goods when Hamas controlled its urge to shoot rockets into Israeli civilian centers, and close the same crossings when the terrorist organization could no longer curb its murderous urges.

This is precisely why Hamas MP Khudari, who is the head of the committee against the siege, emphasized that his committee wants Turkey to remain a full partner in the operation of Gaza harbor as a commercial port.

He stressed his plan that Turkey would supervise the harbor, that and all import and export traffic would be handled via a Turkish port, which would mean an end to the sea blockade on the Strip. Goods for Gaza will no longer land in Ashdod, Israel, first and then be shipped a few miles by truck into Gaza. They would instead be processed someplace in southern Turkey, and then ship directly to Gaza harbor.

Khudari said that his committee is hoping that such a proposal would end Israel’s excuses for refusing to let goods in and out of Gaza through its harbor over security fears.

Of course, if you can’t count on the Turks telling you there’s nothing illegal in those shioments, who can you count on?

MP Khudari said that the project would go into effect as soon as it was approved, adding that it would be tabled with Erdogan on his visit to Gaza.

Erdogan announced his intention to visit Gaza in May after a visit to the USA in mid May.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hamas-pushing-erdogan-to-reignite-strife-with-israel-over-gaza-harbor/2013/04/28/

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