Turkey Court Orders Arrest of Israeli Commandos in 2010 Gaza Flotilla Killings

9 Killed in Seizure of Mavi Marmara Aid Ship

getty images

By Reuters

Published May 26, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A Turkish court issued arrest warrants on Monday for four former Israeli military commanders on trial in absentia over the 2010 killing of nine Turks on a Gaza-bound aid ship, Turkish media reports said.

The move came after months of negotiations between Turkey and Israel to end a diplomatic crisis over the Israeli commando raid in 2010 on the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish ship challenging Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian enclave run by the Hamas Islamist group.

Eight Turks and a Turkish-American were killed in the operation. A Turkish man, Suleyman Ugur Soylemez, died in hospital on Friday after four years in a coma since the raid.

An investigation commissioned by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2011 faulted Israeli marines’ deadly force against activists who clashed with them aboard the Mavi Marmara, but deemed the blockade legal. Ankara rejected the latter finding.

The Turkish court ordered the arrest of former Chief of General Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, ex-Navy Commander Eliezer Marom, ex-Military Intelligence Chief Amos Yadlin and ex-head of Air Force intelligence head Avishay Levi, the newspaper Hurriyet said on its website.

Yadlin, in a text message to Reuters, shrugged off the court’s decision.

“I won’t be visiting Turkey, just like I won’t be visiting Syria, Iran or North Korea,” he said.

Turkish prosecutors have already sought multiple life sentences for the now-retired Israeli officers over their involvement in the killings. Among the charges listed in the 144-page indictment are “inciting murder through cruelty or torture” and “inciting injury with firearms”.

Israel has dismissed the proceedings as a political show trial.

Although the indictment was handed down in 2012, no arrest warrants were issued then. The court said on Monday it would seek the issue of Interpol “red notices” for the arrest of the four former generals.

A Turkish relief agency said on Thursday it would oppose what it said was an imminent Israeli offer to pay compensation in return for dropping lawsuits over the attack.

A former Israeli official who had been involved in efforts to reach a compensation deal, said the latest Turkish legal move would make achieving an agreement more difficult.

In a rapprochement brokered by Washington, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan last year and pledged compensation to the bereaved or hurt.

Turkey was once Israel’s closest regional ally, although their relationship had deteriorated before the raid. Last month, Erdogan said the two were days or weeks away from an agreement


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.