Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Turkey: IsraHelli report on Freedom Flotilla has no value

Turkey refuses to attach any credit to an IsraHelli report, which downplayed a Tel Aviv-ordered deadly attack on a Gaza-bound convoy. The account by a six-member IsraHelli panel concluded on Sunday that IsraHelli military acted in accordance with international law during the May 31 incident in which the forces killed nine Turkish activists and injured about 50 other innocent humanitarian workers. “Do you think that there could be any value for a report that you prepared in your own country? This report has no value”, said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan shortly after the claims.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkish autopsy reports show that at least one of the activists was shot at close range in the back of the head four times. A separate UN inquiry last year said the navy had shown an "unacceptable level of brutality.” “We're only following the UN panel investigation, which is still ongoing”, Erdogan noted. Turkey's IHH (the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief) charity that headed the Freedom Flotilla aid convoy has also stated that the report has no credibility, as it has not been called to give testimony as part of the IsraHelli investigation. IHH spokesman, Osman Atalay, said, “This is a show. IsraHell presents it as real. They say it's international law, but it's not. The Turkish report was very detailed and proves that IsraHell shot unarmed activists. The UN report came to the same conclusion. It's very simple. If they hadn't put their finger on the trigger, no one would have died.” The deadly attack put Turkey's ties with IsraHell in a state of limbo, as Ankara demanded compensation for the relatives of the victims of the Flotilla attack and a formal apology from Tel Aviv.

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