“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Posts Tagged ‘Flotillas

The Flotilla And Fascists

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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.[27] 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.

The Weapons on the Mavi Marmara.

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Does the term, peace activist, aptly describe those on the deck of the Mavi Marmara, when the IDF soldiers tried to land?

Did they deliberately decide to attack the IDF soldiers?

Did their own reckless conduct bring about these unnecessary deaths?

Was the attack premeditated ?

More information is coming out from the ship’s crew which sheds light on the activities of these supposed peace activists:

“According to the clip, released by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, the ship’s captain Mehmut Tuval had attempted to prevent a violent altercation by disposing of metal bars and chains IHH activists had cut ahead of the IDF takeover.

Mehmut said that “once we see that the boats [were] around us…actually not us, but around the total ships…about two hours [before the takeover]… I see they were cutting the steels…chains. And I said to the chief officer, he collected all of them and also we put it in the radio room in the bridge.”

The captain also indicated that he had thrown some of the bars and chains into the sea, while adding that he also asked IHH activists to pass over the bars and chains that had collected later on.

Tuval said he sent his chief officer to ask for the bars, “saying …he cannot take directly from the guys..he spoke with the IHH to collect the [steel bars and chains]…we asked them to drop them, drop in the sea, because if they take it from the bridge that’s when we have a problem…and [after that] we didn’t see any in their hands.”

The Mavi Marmara captain said he was indeed worried that the presence of the makeshift weapons would worsen the situations, adding he thought that nothing would eventually happen since the IHH commanders were at hand to prevent any violence.

“I was worried but if their [leader] on the ship that there would be no effect, nobody will fight… I said many of times because I know the end,” Tuval told investigators, adding that he thought that nothing would happen since there were civilians on the ship/

“I worried [that’s] why I collected the things to the bridge and I take how many I see in their hands and I drop them in the sea.”

Asked whether or not he knew if the IHH activists were preparing a violent welcome to the IDF takeover, Tuval said that “they were preparing to violence against the soldiers: Yeah from what I was informed.” “</blockquotes?

Written by modernityblog

12/06/2010 at 00:41

Flotilla Round Up.

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Bob’s got more on the flotilla, a good round up of the issues and people’s often conflicting views.

Written by modernityblog

10/06/2010 at 15:06

Flotillas, Iron Bars and Hand Guns.

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Having been away for a few days I have come back to a mountain of e-mails and plenty of posts to ponder.

There’s a lot to read about the flotilla and how nine people were shot, but I thought I would put down my initial impressions, which are not set in stone or fixed.

When we originally heard of the deaths connected to the flotilla the figure was said to be 20, now I believe it is about nine.

When I first heard it I was astonished I couldn’t imagine how peaceful activists would be shot. After all, they’re not violent so why should anyone wish to employ violence against them? That was my thinking.

A bit naïve, in the extreme.

Now as far as I can tell there was some six ships, Israelis wanted to inspect the cargo and informed their Captains accordingly. Five ships complied and one didn’t, the Mavi Marmara.

The Israelis then decided to board that ship, a rather difficult task in the middle of the night when the ship was moving.

So some commandos abseiled down ropes, carrying paintball guns, and sometime after, nine people were dead.

I couldn’t understand what was happening until I saw a YouTube clip.

Apparently, as each soldier reaches the deck he’s set upon by eight to 10 men with lumps of wood, iron bars and possibly baseball bats. One of the soldiers is thrown over the side of the ship.

The would-be peace activists continue attacking the soldiers with pieces of wood, metal bars and other weaponry. One soldier in the video aimed his paintball gun at them, but that didn’t do much (you can tell it’s a painball gun because of the lump above the barrel). More soldiers come down and more are attacked.

I imagine what happened is, that eventually Israeli soldiers realised that paintball guns weren’t much use against iron bars and conceivably fearing for their lives use their pistols to defend themselves.

That is my assessment which could, of course, be wrong and I am open to alternative reasoned explanations of the video clip.

It seems to me that when grown men attack armed soldiers with iron bars and lumps of wood, then you’re going to have casualties.

Likewise, if a 60-80 strong group of British football hooligans decided to attack a few French gendarmes in a similar fashion then it seems probable what the French police would do, shoot at the hooligans.

That’s what people do when they have guns, are attacked and they fear for their lives.

I wonder what Turkish troops would have done in a similar situation and how big the fatalities would have been?

Slightly more than nine, I will wager.

Written by modernityblog

09/06/2010 at 00:13