'Marmara' captain: I opposed violence

Report:Crew tried to stop IHH activists' violence before raid.

By JPOST.COM STAFF,
June 11, 2010 13:22
1 minute read.
Weapons from 'Mavi Marmara.'

Weapons from Mavi Marmara 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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The captain of the Mavi Marmara  tried to convince dozens of IHH activists not to engage in violent clashes with the IDF two hours prior to the commando's boarding of the ship, reported Army Radio on Friday.

The Gaza flotilla ship's captain, Mehmet Tubal, said while being investigated in Israel that he and other members of the Mavi Marmara's staff did all they could to prevent the activists from confronting soldiers, even throwing some of the IHH member's metal pipes and chains overboard.

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Another senior member of the ship's staff said that 40 IHH activists took control of the Mavi Marmara and dictated the rest of the passengers' movements.

The occurrence of violence aboard the Mavi Marmara may have been predetermined by the IHH 's purchase of the ship along with possible tacit approval from the Turkish government.

"[The] IHH acquired the Mavi Marmara ship from the AKP-run municipality of Istanbul. It is not conceivable that the IHH’s Gaza operation could have been carried out absent high-level government sanction," wrote Svante Cornell, a Swedish security expert who specializes in Eurasia, in an article published on Monday.

A journalist on-board the Mavi Marmara, described as having good links with the heads of the Turkish government and Bulent Yildirim, head of the IHH, had stated, "The flotilla was organized with the support of the Turkish government and Prime Minister Erdogan gave the instructions for it to set sail. That was despite the fact that everyone knew it would never reach its destination," according to the report.

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