A Turkish prosecutor has taken action for the issuance of Interpol red notices for 174 Israeli soldiers and commanders involved in a May 2010 attack on a Turkish aid ship, the Bugün daily reported on Thursday.
İstanbul Public Prosecutor Mehmet Akif Ekinci, the prosecutor conducting the investigation into the deadly flotilla attack, had reportedly written to the Turkish Justice Ministry, requesting Interpol red notices for the 174 Israeli soldiers and commanders.
The report also said the İstanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office had earlier written to Israeli authorities requesting the full names and residential addresses of the military and government officials who gave the orders to attack the flotilla, in addition to information about those who carried out the orders. Israel refused to provide the information, so the prosecutor asked the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) to share any intelligence information it has so far collected about the Israeli raid. The report said MİT obtained information on the identities of the Israeli soldiers who killed eight Turkish citizens and one Turkish-American in last year’s flotilla raid, identifying almost all of the soldiers who took part in the deadly raid through Facebook.
The report says a total of 174 people, including the soldiers who are thought to have taken part in the raid and those who ordered the attack, were ranked by the prosecutor according to their level of responsibility for the raid. A diagram was then sent to Israeli authorities through the Turkish Justice Ministry for confirmation, but Tel Aviv did not respond to the confirmation request, the daily said. Bugün adds that following this development, the prosecutor took action for the arrest of the 174 Israelis and applied to the Justice Ministry.
The İstanbul Prosecutor’s Office, however, had earlier denied reports that Ekinci asked MİT to identify Israeli soldiers and commanders involved in the attack and said the list of Israelis — reportedly prepared as a result of a Facebook search — was drawn up by the Humanitarian Aid Foundation (İHH), the Turkish charity that owned the raided ship.
Eight Turks and a Turkish-American were killed aboard the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish ship that was part of an international humanitarian aid flotilla which tried to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza in May of last year. A United Nations report about the raid, released last month, stated that activists on board the Mavi Marmara had attacked the raiding naval commandos. It went on to describe the blockade of Gaza as legitimate, although it also accused Israel of using disproportionate force against activists.
Turkey rejected the report’s findings, saying it would never recognize the blockade’s legitimacy and insisted on an Israeli apology as well as compensation for the deaths as a precondition for the normalization of a relationship once seen as a cornerstone of regional stability. Turkish-Israeli tensions have continued to escalate since then, with Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan saying last month Turkish warships could be sent to the Eastern Mediterranean at any time and that Israel cannot do whatever it wants there. Turkey has also downgraded diplomatic ties with Israel and suspended all military agreements.
13 October 2011, Thursday / TODAYSZAMAN.COM,