World Bulletin/News Desk
A Turkish court has launched on Monday fifth trial of Mavi Marmara flotilla trial of four top Israeli commanders accused of a deadly 2010 raid on a Turkish flotilla ship carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza.
The accused including Former Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, former Navy Chief Eliezer Marom, former Military Intelligence head Amos Yadlin and former Air Force Intelligence Chief Avishai Levy did not attend the hearing at Istanbul court.
Huseyin Oruc, one of the plaintiffs, said in his testimony they were exposed to direct attacks of Israeli soldiers on the flotilla and heard expressions insulting Turkey from radiotelephones.
An indictment prepared by an Istanbul prosecutor seeks 9 aggravated life imprisonment sentences for each of the four Israeli top commanders.
"Israeli soldiers think Turkey will give up on the trial but we will never give up on the trial. The reason why we went there was to breach Israel's blockade. We will not have proper relations until the blockade has been removed. Nobody has the right to give in. We were attacked and we will never retreat," Head of The Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH) Bulent Yildirim said.
He added that if their demand is not met by the court and Israeli officials are excused for their hostile acts, then the “whole world will see how we fill the streets [to protest against the decision].”
A group of people from IHH and other non-governmental organizations gathered in front of Istanbul Court and opened Palestinian flags shouting anti-Israel slogans.
Mavi Marmara, a ship in Gaza-bound aid flotilla, organized by the Free Gaza Movement and the Turkish Foundation for Human Rights, Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH) in 2010 was carrying humanitarian aid and construction materials with the intention of breaking the Israeli-Egyptian blockade on the Gaza Strip.
On May 31, 2010, Israeli soldiers boarded the ships from speedboats and helicopters to attack, and killed nine Turks aboard, which worsened the relations between Turkey and Israel.
If the trials are dropped in Turkey, the families and their lawyers said, they will continue their struggle in international judicial institutions such as the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), on the grounds that the Turkish judiciary did not properly perform its duties.
Customs and trade minister also says state of emergency enables Turkish government to make quick decisions
Beside the reproach against the Western mainstream media, I am not generalising that. We did not fail to notice the respectable comments of the journalists such as David Hearst and Glenn Greenwald.
More than 2000 institutions affiliated with US-based preacher Fetullah Gulen are closed amid anti-coup probe
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim will chair the body
Extremists target police checkpoint in Tunceli province
Ibrahim Kalin says claiming coup was staged the same as claiming 9/11 was orchestrated by US
Thousands of coup suspects to face trial after court appearance
Turkey detains Gulen's nephew after attempted coup, refresh for updates
The detention period to not exceed 30 days during state of emergency, official gazette reveals
EU has consistently criticized Turkey since the coup bid but Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has hit back saying that the EU was prejudiced and their statements contradictory
Istanbul judge Irfan Karagoz was remanded in custody on Friday
Rifles, grenades found by gendarmes near Marmaris hotel
Articles in Western media mischaracterize the state of emergency, ignore FETO's threat to democracy
Erdogan visits parliament for first time since failed overthrow
73 suspects have alleged links to Fetullah Gulen Extremist Organization
Since the power cut, US forces at Incirlik used back-up generators so they could continue aerial strikes against ISIL targets in neighboring Syria.