Photo Credit: Twitter
Furkan Doğan

(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.

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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.

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