Knesset Member Demands Turkish Apology for Struma Sinking
Amid the continuing aftermath of Israel’s apology to Turkey for the May 2010 Gaza flotilla incident, Likud Member of Knesset Moshe Feiglin demanded on Sunday that Turkey apologize for the February 1942 sinking of the MV Struma in the Black Sea, Israel Hayom reported.
In mid-December 1941, more than 700 Jews boarded the Struma at the Romanian port of Constanta with the intention of sailing to British-controlled Palestine despite British limitations on Jewish immigration. On Dec. 16, the Sturma reached Istanbul. There, the Struma’s passengers learned both that they would not receive visas from the British to enter Palestine and that they would not be permitted to go ashore in Turkey.
The Struma was quarantined in the Istanbul harbor for more than two months. On February 23, 1942, Turkey towed the ship and its passengers out to international waters in the Black Sea and abandoned it there, even though the Struma’s engine was not working. The next day, the Struma sunk, killing everyone on board except one. It is believed that the Struma either hit a mine or was mistakenly torpedoed by a Soviet submarine.
On Sunday, Feiglin wrote a Facebook post, linked to his Twitter feed, titled “Demand for an apology from the Turks,” in which he detailed the Struma sinking. Feiglin concluded his post by saying, “The truth is that we don’t need an apology! And also not financial compensation. The Jewish people have a special skill. They know how to remember!”
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, clarifying initial reports that Turkey-Israel ties had been normalized following his conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has said that those ties would not be fully restored until Israel both provides financial compensation for the nine Turkish citizens who died in the Mavi Marmara altercation and ends its blockade on Gaza. The Turks who died in the flotilla incident had attacked Israeli soldiers on board, and a subsequent United Nations report confirmed the legality of Israel’s blockade.