Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Turkish autopsy report: Israelis on Mavi Marmara shot to kill
All but two of the nine Turks killed in an Israeli raid on the Mavi Marmara aid ship for Gaza were shot more than once, and five died from bullet wounds to the head, according to forensic reports. The documents, penned this month, were made available to AFP Tuesday by lawyers for the victims' families, who have petitioned Turkish prosecutors to investigate the May 31 bloodshed on the Turkish Mavi Marmara ferry. "The findings make it clear the Israeli forces shot to kill the activists and not to overpower them," one of the lawyers, Yasin Divrak, told AFP.
The youngest victim, 19-year-old Furkan Dogan, a dual Turkish-US national, was shot five times, including twice in the head, the report said. A bullet that pierced his face was fired from close range, it said, adding he was hit also in the back of the head.
The forensic experts failed to detect other close-distance shots on the remaining victims. All nine bodies had been washed before being brought to Turkey and their clothes were either blood-soaked or otherwise unfit for analysis, making it impossible to reach a conclusion on the ranges of most shots, according to the documents.
Journalist Cevdet Kiliclar, 38, the web editor of the Islamist charity IHH that led the ill-fated campaign, was killed by a single bullet that hit him between the eyebrows, the report said.
Divrak drew attention to the autopsy of 61-year-old Ibrahim Bilgen, which included the discovery of a tiny bag containing pellets, still intact in his brain, which the report said was was fired from a hunting rifle.
"It is not a type of weapon that we have ever heard of," he said.
Israel says its commandos used force after they were attacked with sticks and stabbed as soon as they landed on the Mavi Marmara, which was sailing in international waters. But the activists insist the troops opened fire as soon as they landed.
The bloody ending to the aid mission, which had aimed to break the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip, plunged ties between Turkey and Israel, once close allies, into deep crisis.
Turkey has dismissed a commission set up by Israel to investigate the raid, insisting for a UN-led international probe.
AFP got the autopsy reports the same day that IHH, the humanitarian organisation that organized the flotilla, published a detailed report about the mission and the Israeli attack. In order to see it click here