Massive rally as Turkey collects evidence for Israel aid attack / PHOTO

Tens of thousands of people marched through Istanbul on Saturday to protest a deadly Israeli attack, demanding Turkey cut ties with Israel.

Massive rally as Turkey collects evidence for Israel aid attack / PHOTO

Tens of thousands of people marched through Istanbul on Saturday to protest a deadly Israeli attack, demanding Turkey cut ties with Israel.

Israeli soldiers attacked a fleet of boats carrying 700 international activist and 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid heading to Gaza, killing 9 Turkish activists.


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The ship was also carrying activists from Britain, Germany, Malaysia, Belgium, Ireland and elsewhere.

"Now the Israelis have seized two more ships with captives. This is why I condemn Israel," said marcher Filiz Calislar. "The Turkish people have gathered here to protest the atrocities by Israel."


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Protesters waved Turkish and Palestinian flags and carried signs with the photographs of the dead activists. "Damn Israel," "Murderer Israel," protesters shouted. "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Revenge."

They demanded a boycott of Israeli products and called on Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's goverment to impose sanctions on Israel. The rally was organised by the Saadet Party.


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"What we experienced on the Mavi Marmara is what Palestinian women and children live through every day," said Bulent Yildirim, head of the Insani Yardim Vakfi (IHH), the Istanbul-based group that organised the flotilla.

The last five Turkish activists wounded during the deadly raid returned to Turkey on board air ambulances late on Friday, said Metin Dogan, chief physician at Ataturk Hospital in the capital Ankara. They had been unable to travel sooner because of the seriousness of their medical condition.


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Of the 24 people being treated in Ankara, one is Irish, and the rest are Turkish, Dogan also said.

"Seven of the patients are in critical condition, but their situation has improved since they arrived," he said.

"Evidence"


Leaked post-mortem results showed that the activists were killed by a hail of 9mm bullets, many fired at close range. Five of the nine were shot in the head.


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The Turkish attorney general’s office said it was collecting witness statements.

Leaked reports from the post-mortem examinations of the nine dead Turkish activists, one of whom also held a US passport, showed the men had been shot a total of 30 times, and five of them were killed by gunshot wounds to the head.

One 60-year-old man, Ibrahim Bilgen, was shot four times in the temple, chest, hip and back. Fulkan Dogan, 19, the holder of a US passport, was shot five times, all from a range of less than 45cm.


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In London, thousands joined a march from Downing Street to the Israeli embassy to express outrage at the killings. They also protested against the boarding of the MV Rachel Corrie, another aid ship trying to break the Israeli siege of Gaza, by Israeli forces.

A prosecutor took statements from those in hospital who were well enough to speak, the broadcaster CNN Turk said on its website. Turkish officials are considering legal action against Israeli leaders.



Agencies

Last Mod: 06 Haziran 2010, 12:26
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