Haber Merkezi


Let them account for the dead first



Emin Çölaşan

Imagine the following headline at the major Turkish and world news agencies  Several anti Islam and religious Israeli NGO’s condemn Turkey’s persecution of Kurds. NGO’s announced that they will send emergency aid to the Kurds suffering from injustice due to the Turkish persecution"

How would Turkey – justifiably respond?


Imagine again, the story unfolding in a different dimension after a few days: "Jewish NGO’s decided to send aid to the persecuted Kurds suffering from injustice. Goods will be shipped to Turkey's Iskenderun port by sea and trucked from there to the southwest of the country"


Wouldn’t we raise hell?


 One more headline

"This is just in… The Israeli government condemned Turkey's persecution of its Kurdish population and announced that it will support the ship that will bring them aid. The ships passengers will include some legislators of the governing party. The ship is being prepared. Aid to the Kurds will consist of food, medicine, iron and cement."


 And the headline that follows


"Turkey announced that it will definitely not allow ships with the intent of bringing aid to Kurds to get close to its coasts and will use military force if necessary to stop them."


Remember – those are just hypothetical situations.


The aid ship is loaded in Israel, and Zionists, enemies of Muslims, board as passengers. She leaves Haifa following a ceremony with the participation of a very large crowd.

Israel repeats that it will not interfere with the ship's business.


The ship starts sailing in the Mediterranean.


Turkish government announces to the world that it will not allow the ship to pass. It requests that the ship turns back, and repeats that should she enter the territorial waters Turkey will use force to stop it if need be.


The world watches anxiously. What will happen? Will Turkey really make use of its military? Will it use guns?


The Israeli ship approaches our territorial waters. Turkish gunboats leave their base. Military planes fly over the Mediterranean and report the situation.


Turkish Navy warns the Israeli ship one last time: "Failure to turn back will result in our forces taking the ship over".


Diplomats are also busy. The Israeli ambassador to Turkey is summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ankara to hear the same warnings with the request that he transmits them urgently to his government.


The result is simply frustrating!

The Israeli government hangs on to the same lie, claims that it has nothing to do with the ship; however issues a warning:

"The ship carries civilian passengers. If you intervene you shall bear full responsibility" 


At nighttime, the moment the Israeli ship enters Turkish territorial waters Turkish commandos rope down from helicopters. The ensuing struggle between the Jewish militants and our soldiers leaves a few commandos wounded and nine Jews dead.

Islamic militants supported by the Turkish government organize demonstrations by the mosques, and cheer for the Turkish army for the first time ever!

"Our heroes taught the attacking Jews a well deserved lesson"



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Dear readers. Now let's flip this piece of fiction 180 degrees around and look at it from the other angle. There lies the truth.


This is not fiction anymore. It is May 2010. Let's briefly recall the facts. The Mavi Marmara which was prepared with great fanfare is about to sail. 400 activists board the ship with the help of a few Islamic NGO's, all of which are sworn enemies of Jews and Israel.


The ship leaves Istanbul following a huge ceremony and under the nose of the Turkish Government. She stops briefly at Antalya, where she is met by a large crowd.

Destination Gaza. In other words, an Israeli (controlled) port.


Objective: To bring aid to Moslems who are claimed to be persecuted by the Israeli government.


All this is fine. It is also very much against the international law. Israel announces ahead of time that it will not authorize the ship to pass.


Israel also announces that any violation of its territorial waters will result in a military intervention, and the Turkish government that allowed Mavi Marmara to sail will be held accountable of its consequences.


Still, not a single word form the Turkish government. Even if it doesn’t say it explicitly the government totally supports this piracy.


Its attitude is "I let them go, God will protect them"


The ship has no authorization to enter Gaza. Not only that, the register at the port of embarkation does not even show Gaza as the destination.


The ship sails on the Mediterranean. Turkey, Israel and the whole world watch the developments.


Finally one night as Mavi Marmara gets close to Israel, Israeli commandos rope down to the ship from helicopters. Nine of our citizens are killed at the ensuing skirmish.

The ship is taken over and brought to an Israeli port. The crew and passengers are questioned at first, then returned to Turkey after a short while.


This is the story 


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Tayyip (Erdogan) is using a discourse to please the public opinion, and mainly his  own supporters…Among the Islamic fractions that supports Erdogan the majority are Enemies of Jews and Israel.


"If Israel does not apologize for the Mavi Marmara incident we will never normalize our relationship"


We can't know whether Israel will apologize or not. However nine were killed on that ship, and they were declared "martyrs" by the Islamists.


Martyrs or not, who is accountable for those nine lives?


The AKP government has not yet provided an answer to this question. It is unlikely that they will do so now.


The AKP government was the ones that sent the Mavi Marmara to Gaza. How could a ship this size leave a Turkish port to sail in the Mediterranean without the blessing and the permission of the government? How can the 400 people board a ship loaded with humanitarian aid material that no one knows how it was paid for?


That ship meant to attack a port of a foreign country. Exactly like the Israeli ship trying to reach Iskenderun as in the example above. If we were subject to the same belligerence in our country we would rightfully raise hell, and we could even sink that pirate ship in the Mediterranean.


AKP bears the responsibility of the Mavi Marmara. More importantly AKP bears the responsibility of those nine lives. Those men were sent openly to a certain death. They knew for sure that Israel would intervene. The only thing that they didn’t know was the number of casualties.


The AKP government should first account for the deaths to the Turkish people, and only then expect an apology from Israel.



Emin Çölaşan (born 14 March 1942) is a Turkish investigative journalist whose daily column appeared in the country's internationally best-known and most influential mass-circulation newspaper, Istanbul-based Hürriyet, for 22 years, from 1985 to 2007.Due to his outspoken positions on sensitive domestic issues, he is considered one of the most controversial names in Turkey's written press and, since 2007, has continued his column in Sözcü.


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