And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)?? men, women, and children, whose cry is: “Our Lord! rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from Thee one who will protect; and raise for us from Thee one who will help!” Al-Quran 4:75
By Raja G Mujtaba
Flotilla comprising of 3 large ships, MV Mavi Marmara and 2 other cargo vessels left Istanbul on Jun 13, 2010. This flotilla was joined by 3 other ships on the high seas that made it a total of 6. The flotilla was headed by Fehmi Bulent Yildirim, the head of IHH (Insani Haqooq Hurriat) that is operating in a number of countries including Germany, Pakistan, Afghanistan etc. and providing relief to war victims without discrimination. Prof Najamuddin Saqib, former Prime Minister of Turkey is the founder of IHH that was first established in Germany in year 1992 to provide relief to the victims of Bosnia war. People of Gaza are also under siege for decades, it was the moral obligation and in accordance with the charter of IHH to provide relief to these helpless people taken hostages by Zionist Israel.
Gaza being a war torn strip facing the atrocities of Zionist Israel for decades that is denied even the minimum basic human needs to meet its food, medicine, shelter, water etc. needs urgent world focus. All the governments of the West
including some of the Muslim world had turned a blind eye to Gaza. Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, a tout of the Zionists and the Zionist dominated American government blocked the only land route to provide relief to Gaza and denied the people move in and out of there.
The first Viva Palestina that left London on 14th Feb 2009 was allowed to cross over from the Egyptian side. The 2nd convoy that left from the USA on 4th Jul, 2009 was meted some rough treatment but allowed partial entry thereafter this route on Israel’s demand was totally blocked. The third Viva Palestina that left London on 5th Dec, 2009 could not gain access to Gaza. Nothing could move in or out, people mostly comprising of women, infants and the old were subjected to inhuman sufferings that was boosted by the Israeli war planes that did not spare even the UNO relief, education and health facilities. One Shaukat Qureshi, a small trader in Wah, 30 miles from Islamabad was part of the first Viva Palestina that entered Gaza. He described the sorrowful conditions of the Palestinians there that were simply shocking and hair raising.
George Galloway a British parliamentarian and Yvonne Ridley a British Muslim journalist have been raising voice and mobilizing the people to provide relief and voice to the people of Gaza. Yvonne travelled to many countries to mobilize the people and always found good response.
The buildup of Freedom Flotilla was a consequence of Israeli and Egyptian arrogance and unconcerned attitude. Bulent Yildirim, the force behind this buildup soon caught the world attention that attracted people from over 40 countries to participate, one such person was Col Ann Wright, a bold and courageous lady from the US whom I am interviewing separately..
MV Mavi Marmara, the Flag Ship of the flotilla was bought at much under its value for US$ 1 million, it was like a donation by the Turkish government for the people of Gaza. If it had arrived at Gaza, more than likely it would have been handed over to the Palestinian authorities there. There were approximately 700 people on this ship and there were 5 other ships that were carrying relief goods. Of the cargo ships, one was donated by Malaysia.
From Pakistan, the sole representative was Nadeem Ahmed who was accompanied by Tallat Hussain, a TV reporter and anchor person to document the voyage to break the inhuman and arrogant Israeli siege of Gaza.
Nadeem is a humanist who has setup Khubaib Foundation in Islamabad, providing relief to orphans, widows, prisoners
and other such people. Nadeem also provided relief in the earthquake torn Northern Pakistan where he established hospitals, schools and orphanages.
His narration of the journey is more than interesting. Here it must be mentioned that he was accompanied by Nalan, his Turkish wife who in herself is a great force for any humanitarian cause. She was also arrested by the Israelis and subjected to the same treatment that was given to all other prisoners taken by Israel who were on the Freedom Flotilla.
When the flotilla approached closer to Gaza but still on the high seas of Mediterranean it was intercepted by no less than 14 Israeli warships and 3 submarines. Besides this force, there were a number of smaller boats that were carrying Israeli commandos to board the ships.
These warships and boats started to scare the flotilla. Initially they fired blanks with a loud noise, seeing that it did not work then they resorted to live ammunitions. People from MV Mavi Marmara scared the boats with high powered water guns that kept them at bay. While this battle was going on, Israeli helicopters appeared on the scene. Arrival of the helicopters was announced by live machinegun fire from the crew of the helicopters. This made the people on the deck to run for cover but did not scare them. The first eight Israeli commandos that descended from the helicopters via the ropes were captured by the people on the deck, immediately they were disarmed and made ineffective. In all probability the first eight to land were the bait for the peace activist to kill them or make some such like scene so that then this could be used as an excuse to kill and execute the people on board and tell the world that it all was done in self defence by the Israeli troops. If there was any such plan, it was very effectively put away by Bulent Yaldirim.
On this Bulent issued strict instructions that no Israeli commando would be harmed in anyway. The weapons captured from them were thrown in the sea. To avoid any further escalation, the commandos were allowed to land on the deck of the ship.
Now the terror and atrocities began. Israeli soldiers were ruthless and arrogant; they killed nine unarmed people on board the ship and wounded at least 20 of which the condition of the two was declared very critical, its more than likely that one the two must have died. One such casualty was of Furkan Dogan, a 19 year old Turkish American youth. He was hit with four bullets in his forehead from a close distance. He died before he fell on the floor. In this scuffle one or two ladies were also injured.
In all approximately 300 commandos boarded the ship while as many were still on other boats and Israeli warships. All the people on board were unarmed as their objective was not to enter into any fighting but carry the relief goods to Gaza. Israel had declared that these ships carrying relief goods were in fact carrying weapons of destruction that they wanted to off load at Gaza.
Since the Israelis had their agents on board and also those of Ergenekon, a notorious gang that was created by the Zionists to secularise and plague the Turkish government with Israeli influence were there to keep a watch on the movement of the people on board and know the exact detail as to what all was being carried by these ships. These two distinct groups were visible through their behavior and body language.
Ergenekon, of which very little is known to the outside world, as mentioned in Wikipedia, is the name given to an alleged clandestine, Kemalist ultra-nationalist organization in Turkey with ties to members of the country’s military and security forces. The group, named after Ergenekon, a mythical place located in the inaccessible valleys of the Altay Mountains, is accused of terrorism in Turkey.
Its agenda has variously been described as Eurasianist, and isolationist. The defendants portray themselves as defenders of secularism, and national sovereignty. According to the indictment, the group’s claim to legitimacy is that it allegedly protects national interests, which the defendants believe are incompatible with the rule of the democratically elected government of Justice and Development Party and are harmed by Turkey’s alleged concessions to the West. In Turkey, the extensions of the state—the establishment—that are considered responsible for this are referred to as the “deep state”. The existence of the “deep state” was affirmed in Turkish opinion after the Susurluk scandal in 1996. Alleged members have been indicted on charges of plotting to foment unrest, among other things by assassinating intellectuals, politicians, judges, military staff, and religious leaders, with the ultimate goal of toppling the incumbent government in a coup that was planned to take place in 2009. This follows allegations published in Nokta that several abortive coups with the same intent were planned a few years ago. The proximate motive behind these false flag activities is said to be to discredit the incumbent Justice and Development Party and derail Turkey’s accession process to the European Union.
Turkey has already been through four “successful” military coups since democratic elections were first held in 1950. At the first coup d’état in 1960, the junta executed the first democratically elected Prime Minister of the country, Adnan Menderes and two of his ministers. There were more coups in 1971, in 1980 and in 1997, with additional numerous attempted “un-successful” coups all through these years.
Ergenekon’s modus operandi has been compared to Operation Gladio‘s Turkish branch, the Counter-Guerrilla. It has been said that the people who constitute the “deep state” are members of, or make use of, this covert organization, which was established at the beginning of the Cold War to contain communism. Furthermore, Ergenekon is allegedly a derivative of the Counter-Guerrilla.
Over a hundred people, including several generals, party officials, and a former secretary general of the National Security Council, have been detained or questioned since July 2008. Hearings began on 20 October 2008, and are expected to continue for over a year.
Commentators in the Turkish press have called Ergenekon “the case of the century”.
Back to the flotilla, the gory drama on board Mavi Marmara began around 12 midnight. The total scuffle did not last
more than 20 minutes; Bulent Yildrim had instructed the people not to resist and surrender so that there is no further loss of life. All the passengers were moved onto the lower decks where they were tied and locked up but the Mossad aganets and the Ergenekons were given preferential treatment and they were made to sit like some special guests.
While the flotilla was still on the high seas, the Israeli force commander challenged Captain Mahmood commanding Mavi Marmara; asked him his destination that he refused to divulge saying that he was in the International Waters as such no one could question him. Israelis kept on pressing him to divulge the destination that was certainly Gaza and the movement was in that direction. But to avoid any unpleasant scene, he diverted it to the nearby Egyptian port of Rafah but that did not deter the Israelis.
Now that the Israelis had taken complete hold of the flotilla they moved it to Israeli port of Ashkelon where other Israeli agencies boarded the ships. The media at the Israeli port was kept at bay, none were allowed to get closer to the ships or the passengers while being shifted to the prisons.
After taking prisoners, “we were made to go through at least 10 different government agencies,” said Nadeem Ahmed. All these people did not give a human look, they either looked like robots or some cloned generation of a different kind.
Although the announcement had been made on board the ship that none would be taken to the prisons as arrangements had been made to transport them on buses to Jordan but that was not the case. Those from countries that had diplomatic ties with Israel would be put on planes to their respective countries. All this was a false hope.
As reported, Israelis poisoned the captives through food. At least nine such cases surfaced but the test to establish what poison was used is not yet complete.
One strange thing to happen was that on the intervention of the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, the Pakistanis were the first to be released from the prison who did spend a single night there. When Nadeem asked one of the American diplomat as to why they had come to get their release, the reply was, ‘You are next to our kin, you helping us in Afghanistan.’ But the fact was that had these Pakistanis been detained there for a longer period of time, anti-American feelings would have spilled on the streets that for them would have been a disastour.
Turkey that had moblised its defence forces on this Israeli attack of the Flotilla has taken a very strong stance with Israel. Israel has been asked to make a public apology to the people of turkey and also accept an international commission to enquire the siege of the flotilla, failing which the consequences shall rest with Israel. In the meantime, Turkey has cancelled defence contracts with Israel worth over 3 billion US dollars.
Mr M Babur, very handsome and smart Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan whom the scribe met over lunch said that the immediate effect has been the softening up both of Israel and Egypt towards the passage of relief and humanitarian goods. This is evident from the fact the way Egypt responded in opening up of road to Gaza. What is to follow is too early to say.
Here it must be mentioned that Turks are no ordinary people, they have a very strong sense of national pride. They can sacrifice everything but their pride. Here Israel is left between the devil and the deep sea, if Israel apologieses, it loses its arrogant and fearful face and if it does not then it loses all its support that it had for so long in the western people.