The Flotilla And Fascists
We are often told that those on the Flotilla to Gaza were humanitarians and peace activists, and it is conceivable that some of them were, but news is coming out of a slightly less savoury group of passengers on the Mavi Marmara, fascists.
Well, more accurately neofascists from the Turkish, Büyük Birlik Partisi (BBP)
The BBP is renowned for its connections with the Grey Wolves movement, older readers will remember the activities of those neofascist terrorists in the 1970s and their murderous campaign of bombings and killings.
Not the sort of people that you would immediately associate with humanitarian aid? It doesn’t make much sense, until you remember that they are also renowned for their anti-Jewish racism.
Jean-Yves Camus in an article on the European Extreme Right and Religious Extremism describes the Turkish Extreme Right:
“There are two political parties form the Extreme Right in Turkey: the Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi (MHP) and its youth wing, Bozkurtlar (Grey Wolves), and the Büyük Birlik Partisi (BBP), led by Muhsin Yazicioglu. The former, which is very active in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, and to a lesser extent in France, is secular and mostly concerned about the ethnic essence of the Turkish Nation, although some experts within the German Verfassungschutz believe that there is one “Turkish nationalist” and one “Turkish-Islamist” wing within MHP. The latter split from MHP in 1993 precisely because it felt the party’s Islamist credentials were “weak”. It received 1.02 % in the 2003 general election and did not contest the 2007 election. It operates in Europe under the name of Avrupa Tûrk Birligi, or Verband der Turkischen Kulturvereine E.V. in Europa, and promotes a mix between the Atatürk tradition of nationalism and the Koran. Although BBP seems to have failed politically, while its rival MHP has become Turkey’s third political force with 14.29 % of the vote, the movement is worth monitoring, because of its extreme anti-Kurdish and anti-Armenian propaganda, and also because of its alleged involvement in violent activities.”
Not exactly natural bedfellows for humanitarians or peace activists, but violence would be second nature to these neo-fascists and might explain some of the activities on the deck of the Mavi Marmara?
From the IHH page, applauding the visit offered the BBP leader, Yalcin Topcu:
“Topcu handed over a letter to Bulent Yildirim, General President of IHH, which he wrote to Palestinian President Ismail Haniye, following his speech. After receiving the letter, Bulent Yildirim has offered his thanks to Yalcin Topcu and accompanying members of BBP who do not hesitate to give their support to the campaign. He also mentioned Muhsin Yazicioglu in his speech, deceased former leader of BBP, put great importance into the Palestinian cause and it would be a great honor to deliver the letter written by Yazicioglu’s followers to Palestine and to Ismail Haniye. “
The Z Word blog has more.