World Bulletin / News Desk
Families of Turkish humanitarian aid workers, killed by Israeli commandos on the Mavi Marmara ship, dismissed any Israeli apology as formality and demanded the soldiers be tried for the killings on the Gaza aid ship.
Family members of nine dead Turkish activists and IHH President Bulent Yildirim attended a press conference at the IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation's headquarters in Istanbul.
The conference comes as some reports said Israel has agreed in principle to offer an apology and pay compensation to Turkey for the normalization of bilateral relations.
Participants emphasized that Israel's apology and paying compensation cannot seal off the bloody event.
Families of victims said, "our relatives were killed as they were trying to lift the embargo. Our pain gets a little bit lighter only if the embargo is lifted up."
Families also said sending fire aircrafts to Israel hurt their feelings and asked why planes were not sent to the Marmara ship when it was attacked.
The youngest victim Furkan Dogan's father, Ahmet Dogan, said an apology and compensation just for the formality can not be accepted.
Dogan said his son was killed on the way to break the embargo on Gaza. "He had a single purpose: Humanitarian assistance. At least, he was martyred for this cause. An apology alone cannot be a reason for amnesty. Saying sorry as a formality should not be an excuse," he said.
Tourching upon the compensation issue, Dogan said "If compensation is received as the money for the martyrs, that would be wrong. We do not need the money that will come from them, but compensation is a part of the punishment of the crime. It should be a compensation to ensure that Israel will suffer." Dogan also expressed his personal hurt over sending Turkish aircrafts to Israel to fight fire.
"Sending the aircrafts is right as humanitarian and Islamic, but it hurt us a little. After all we are human beings, have feelings. Although the bureaucracy and politics are away from feelings, we would like to be taken into account. "
"Those soldiers should be tried"
Another activist Cevdet Kilic's wife, Derya Kilic, said in her speech that "we believe only a statement of apology and compensation should not seal off the event. The incident is not as simple as that. That was definitely a massacre. These people should be punished, the soldiers that took part in the cruelty should be prosecuted. We want the blockade to be removed. Apology and compensation will not be enough."
Kılıc also expressed sorrow over sending fire planes to Israel.
Cigdem Topçuoğlu, who was on board with her husband as he was killed by Israeli soldiers, as well as Muhammed Ensari, Hasan Yaldiz, Ismail Songur and Ismail Bilgen also called for the removal of the embargo beyond an apology and compensation in their speeches.
IHH President Bulent Yildirim said, "compensation should hurt Israel. There should be an apology to all over the world, Turkey and the families of martyrs and the wounded.. The embargo and the blockade must be removed immediately."