Apology a political and diplomatic success for Turkey: Operator of Mavi Marmara
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet
The head of the Humanitarian Aid Foundation (İHH) Bülent Yıldırım poses on board of the Mavi Marmara. Yıldırım assured that pending trials against the Israeli officials will be pursued. Hürriyet photoIsrael's formal apology over the Mavi Marmara raid is a political and diplomatic success, the head of the foundation that organized the ship's journey said March 22. “We are proud of Turkey's honorable stance. The apology and the compensation are very important. We also want the naval blockade to end. The struggle will continue until the blockade is lifted,” the head of the Humanitarian Aid Foundation (İHH), Bülent Yıldırım, said.
Yıldırım added that the apology would not mean the cancellation of the trials for compensation and the case pending at the International Criminal Court. “There are not only martyrs, but also damages. There have been unfair detentions. [Israeli officials] mistreated [the passengers on the Mavi Marmara] at Ashdod Port. They released them after making them sign a paper.”
The Israeli raid of the ship, which was carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza on May 31, 2010 claimed the lives of nine Turkish citizens on board the vessel. Turkey had frozen its diplomatic ties with Israel after the latter refused to issue a formal apology.
Meanwhile, Turkish Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek expressed his satisfaction with Israel's apology. “The fact that the issue has been understood and smoothed over is important for peace in the region.”