Justin Vela

Follow up to Gaza flotilla crisis…

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A demonstrator prepares to burn an Israeli flag in Istanbul, Turkey on 31 May 2010.

ISTANBUL-Earlier this month the world was shocked when Israeli commandos open fire on the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish boat bringing humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, killing 9 Turkish citizens.

I reported on the ensuing crisis from Istanbul, spending hours at the office of IHH, the Turkish humanitarian organization that sponsored the Mavi Marmara. Read my articles on the Gaza flotilla crisis here. The IHH organization and their alleged links to Hamas and other terror groups became one of the story’s most contentious points.

Israel has now agreed to ease the restrictions on aid the enters Gaza, though they will maintain their naval blockade.

At IHH headquarters I met a young volunteer whose father was a journalist on board the Mavi Marmara. I recently e-mailed her to hear her reaction to Israel easing the restrictions on the aid that enters Gaza. Below is her response:

For me, what Israel is trying to do now is a trial of clearing its name. The flotilla incident was a big mistake of Israel accepted by almost all parties. And it was condemned by many people around the world, specifically in Muslim world. And now, Israel is trying to show the people that it is actually easing the blockade by allowing a number of more items. But they still do not allow construction material which is needed by Gazan people and some of the medical equipments and drugs as well. Israel claims that these material is used by Hamas for military purposes. But with this paranoiac security policies gives the Palestinian people a continuous misery.

Flotilla incident was important from a number of perspectives. The usage of media by the activists was one of them. Now Israel is fighting back with the activists at the same stage, media.

And plus, I think PKK attacks have a greater horizon than only being a terrorist raid. I think some powers, internal or external, is trying to change the agenda in Turkey now. This flotilla incident and other progresses in Turkey’s foreign relations has put Turkey as a threat. Turkey has a great military force. I dont believe PKK would be this brave with only its power

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Written by Justin Vela

June 23, 2010 at 4:45 pm

Posted in turkey

Tagged with , , , , ,

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