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Istanbul, TR – 01 June 2013 - This is the text of press release issued by IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation on the 3rd anniversary of the Mavi Marmara attack.
Palestine, Palestine-Gaza, MiddleEast, Turkey 01.06.2013

The land of Palestine is under occupation. Gaza is under blockade. Thousands of Palestinians, including children and women, are tortured in Israeli prisons. Israel is committing numerous crimes against Palestinians each passing day. Israel, which expects the whole world to condone its actions, is carrying on with the embargo it has imposed on the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Israel allows movements in and out of Gaza only at a level it sees fit in order to mislead the world about what is really happening in the region, and in this way expects those demanding justice to be content with this.

Gaza Freedom Flotilla had set out because it regarded even one individual’s compulsory dependence on aid unacceptable for human dignity. As all peoples, the Palestinian people have the right to live a free and honorable life without having to depend on aid. The guarantor for this right is not states or international mechanisms but human conscience. We thank the people of Turkey and all people with different religion, language, ethnicity and color who offered their contributions as a duty of human conscience and set the vessels of Freedom Flotilla in motion. The Mavi Marmara sailed not only with actual passengers on board but also with millions of conscientious souls.

Israel perpetrated such a massacre because it was frightened of these souls; because Mavi Marmara, which attracted the collective conscience of the entire world with this power, is the ship sailing from the north and that is going to the beginning of the end.

What revealed the real intentions of the Israeli soldiers, who could not notice the additional live broadcast frequency on the vessel, are the prayers of orphan children waiting at the Gaza Port for these ships. The volunteerism of these prayers and the sincere goodhearted people on the ship deciphered Israel’s lawlessness. From now on, no matter what Israel does to claim the contrary, it is murderer, guilty, and will not be able to avoid justice.

The mission of Mavi Marmara is marching all over the world as the symbol of justice, peace and freedom despite Israel’s efforts to remove it from memory. The march started by Mavi Marmara has become the flare of a greater march that will liberate downtrodden peoples and al-Quds.

The philanthropists who set the Mavi Marmara and Gaza Freedom Flotilla in motion are mentioned in Palestine and in the rest of the world with gratitude. As for the Mavi Marmara martyrs, they are commemorated in praying hands and tongues. Uğur Süleyman Söylemez, who has been in a coma for three years now, is remembered with the same gratitude and prayers.

Israel, on the other hand, is continuing committing new crimes constantly at higher cost and ends up being more isolated. However, every crime against humanity brings Israel one step closer to the end of road. Israel, which became isolated and attracted reaction from the whole world in the wake of the attack on the Mavi Marmara, and thereby making serious political and economic losses, is using every means possible to prevent this. Despite all its efforts, Israel could not stop being tried at the UN Human Rights Council, the International Criminal Court, Turkey, Republic of South Africa and Spain.

Israel offered us “whatever amount of money we demanded” so we would withdraw the lawsuits as it was aware of the threat these lawsuits posed to it. Because the trial of its soldiers is a great shame and also a great threat for Israel, whose only foundation is security. The Mavi Marmara trials in Turkey will both set a precedent for punishing crimes against humanity Israel has so far committed in other countries and for other lawsuits related to Palestine and Masjid al-Aqsa. This means a puncture in the legal protection shield of Israel and an important step in the medium run for the fall of al-Quds’ occupation.

Israel, which realized that IHH would not cut its support to the Palestinian people under any condition, and would not make any concessions regarding the removal of the blockade, occupation and trial of the guilty, put IHH on the list of terror groups with a cabinet decision in December 2012 and made plans for revenge by accusing IHH of being responsible for the problems it has been going through. Israel’s efforts to defame and smear IHH executives and prepare files against them based on fabricated evidence to put pressure on them also surfaced in those days. However, Israel fails to realize that being on Israel’s terror list means the same for IHH as being in the hearts of people and orphan children, and that the whole world treats the issue in this way. Just as it cannot realize that the traps it sets will be broken by Allah, the guardian of orphans and the downtrodden…

At a time when all efforts are in vain, Israel has apologized to Turkey, with a language confessing its crimes, to save itself from trials and let the Mavi Marmara be forgotten. The Turkish government showed unbroken determination in the management of the process leading to apology and displayed an honorable and exemplary stance. However, the government’s move to reduce the issue to payment of compensation, something that Israel was already willing to do, is neither understandable nor acceptable. In fact, this is exactly what Israel hoped for: to make a payment as soon as possible and close the case. So long as its soldiers are no longer at the threat of accountability!

On the third anniversary and at the current phase of the process, we IHH and other components of the Flotilla, families of the martyrs, people who contributed aid materials to the ships, and all the passengers underline that;

1. Mavi Marmara is part of al-Quds-Palestine struggle. Its goal is the removal of the blockade. We still have the responsibility of removing the blockade.
2. Israel has committed in international waters before the eyes of the whole world many heavy crimes against humanity. All political and military perpetrators of the attack have to be held accountable in court and punished. We will not withdraw any of the lawsuits.
3. Israel is certainly obliged to compensate all the material and nonmaterial damage it caused. However, as a show of our responsibility towards spiritual personality of our martyrs, towards their and the Palestinian people’s honorable struggle, and towards Masjid al-Aqsa, we will not discuss compensation matter until the blockade is lifted and those responsible are punished.

There is only one thing we will say about Turkish and Israeli governments’ decision to re-normalize relations after talks on the Mavi Marmara issue: The improvement of relations with Israel, which has brought nothing but persecution and pain to the whole world in general and the Middle East in particular, has up to now benefitted neither Turkey nor other nations taking a stance for peace. The relations between the two countries will mean nothing but involving Turkey in Israel’s oppressive policies as well as the pain it has caused. The nations demanding peace stand against Israel. The entire Turkish public is on the side of Mavi Marmara and against Israel.

According to Zionists, the only solution in Israel’s interests is “wiping Mavi Marmara out from history, covering it up, removing it from memory, and letting it be forgotten.”


  • Because Mavi Marmara is part of the struggle for the liberation of Masjid al-Aqsa, al-Quds and Palestine.
  • Because Gaza is still under blockade, the land of Palestine and al-Quds are under occupation, Masjid al-Aqsa is gloomy.
  • Because guardians of al-Quds, orphans of martyrs of Palestine, and orphans’ mothers, the Palestinian people are resisting Israel’s persecution to perpetuate their honorable resistance.
  • Because Palestinian orphan children are waiting at the Gaza Port for us to walk in the Masjid al-Aqsa march with us.
  • Because you are tyrants and to wipe the earth off tyrants is our responsibility towards our Lord and future generations.
  • Because as you said “the elderly might die” but contrary to what you said “the youth will not forget” and will complete this journey.
  • On its third anniversary, we all the components of Gaza Freedom Flotilla and on behalf of all brave and good hearts who gathered on the Mavi Marmara salute our NINE MARTYRS, Palestine as well as Syria, Arakan, East Turkistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, all youths and children on the earth resisting oppression, and all humanitarian aid volunteers now working in all crisis zones around the world risking their lives.
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