Mavi Marmara was attacked by Israeli soldiers on May 31 while carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza. Nine peaceful activists were killed in the attack, which sparked sharp condemnation from the world. The traces of the massacre are still visible on the ship. The visitors of the ship can see the bullet marks on the walls and see the photos from the moments of the attack.
Mavi Marmara which is currently towed at the port of Kepez in Çanakkale is waiting for the day it will set sail for İstanbul.
IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation Press Secretary Salih Bilici said the Israeli soldiers first damaged the ship’s deck to which they boarded from helicopters. Noting that the traces of the massacre are still visible in every corner of the ship despite seven months that have passed over the incident, Bilici said the situation of the transmitter and satellite cords and navigation lights was sufficient to give an idea about the brutality of the Israeli attack.
“Following the Israeli attack which killed nine activists and injured 54 others, Israel kept the ship for a long while and then sent it to us. Mavi Marmara was pulled by Defne and Gazze ships and brought to the port of İskenderun on Aug. 8. After undergoing maintenance there, it was brought to the Kepez port in Çanakkale,” he explained.
He said the Mavi Marmara ship will set sail for İstanbul on Dec. 26 and arrive at Sarayburnu port where it was sent out to Gaza on May 22.
“We will welcome the Mavi Marmara the way we sent it out to Gaza. There will even be more participation this time. Representatives from various non-governmental organizations from 50 countries and activists will travel to İstanbul to attend the welcoming ceremony. Artists, journalists, writers, academics, representatives from Turkish non-governmental organizations and labor unions will also attend the ceremony. We expect to see everyone at 1 pm in Sarayburnu. Upon demand, Mavi Marmara ship will be sent to other Muslim countries. It will become a symbol of freedom and go from one port to another. It will be open to visitors at Sarayburnu port for one week,” said Bilici.