Five Turkish Jews Investigated Over Alleged Gaza Flotilla Involvement
The National Intelligence Organization (MİT) of Turkey is investigating five Turkish-Jewish citizens who they claim collaborated with Israel in the 2010 boarding of the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara flotilla by the Israel Defense Forces, Turkish media outlets reported.
Turkey accused the Jews of helping Israeli troops board the vessel and assisting in the interrogation of flotilla activists when the ship reached Israel.
Israeli naval troops boarded the Mavi Marmara in May 2010 after the ship violated the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, killing nine Turks in response to violent attacks by the activists on board.
A United Nations report on the flotilla had concluded that Israel’s blockade of Gaza is legal. Yet, Turkey continues to pursue action against Israel for the incident, in November beginning a trial of four high-ranking IDF officers (including former Israeli military chief Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi) in absentia for their involvement.
Turkey launched the latest investigation after some of the flotilla activists said they had heard some IDF soldiers speaking Turkish on board. Attorneys with the Istanbul-based Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) told the Turkish daily newspaper Zaman that their organization has photos and videos proving that some Turkish citizens were brought on board the flotilla by the IDF to act as interpreters.
Hüseyin Ersöz, the Deputy Chairman of the IHH, told a Turkish television station on Saturday that after the names of the accused will be released to the public, “everyone will know who the Turkish Jews are that served in the Israeli army and killed Turkish civilians on the Mavi Marmara,” Israel newspaper Maariv reported. Rafael Sadi, spokesperson for the Association of Turkish Immigrants in Israel, also told Maariv that Turkey is “trying to intimidate the Jews” and Israel.