“I am really impressed by the efforts people made to see a huge peace of iron block (the boat), by the meanings they impose on that ship and by their enthusiasm” says Halil Terzi, an aged participant of the flotilla. As he utters these words, his voice fades and tears fall down from his eyes. Tears disappear one by one running down through his almost completely gray beard. Apparently, he is here to realize his dreams. Right after the first and the second intifada, he had two dreams that he remembers clearly. He says, “My Lord will make those dreams come true, that day will come, the day that Jerusalem gets back its freedom.”
Today, we passed by the land of Gallipoli martyrs. It stirred a whole lot of emotions in me. It felt as if some of those martyrs were congratulating us on our efforts, some were asking “why did you have to wait for so long to do this?” Some of those martyrs might have come from Palestine and some might even have fought in Palestine. I felt their eyes on me, right till the land of martyrs disappear in the horizon.
We have a white dove onboard, symbolizing peace. As our ship is like the Noah’s Ark, we, of course, would need a dove like this which reminds us of salvation and peace. One of the doves that were released during the send-off ceremony in Sarayburnu, Istanbul, symbolizing peace and hope, refused to let us go without her to a region where peace is most needed. Our brother Mustafa (Ozturk) released the dove as we neared the shore with the fear that she could not return to shore from open waters.
It was a day of cleaning on the ship. Each one of our friends grabbed a cleaning tool and helped clean the ship thoroughly. It may sound like an ordinary thing, but no, it was a beautiful thing to watch. Around 40 passengers are doing their best to take care of the ship and prepare it for the boarding of all the Turkish and international activists in Antalya harbor. May Allah be pleased with them all and bless our journey and may it result in good things.