Flotilla martyr’s father: Israel should first lift Gaza blockade
Ahmet Doğan, father of Furkan Doğan who was martyred in an Israeli attack on Mavi Marmara ship in May, said Israel should first lift its blockage on Gaza if it wants to make a gesture for the victims
Turkey 13.12.2010

Doğan, a Turkish-American citizen, was among the nine peaceful activists who were killed by the Israeli attack on Mavi Marmara on May 31. Israeli soldiers attacked the Mavi Marmara, which was carrying humanitarian aid for Gaza, in international waters in a move that drew wide condemnation from Turkey and the world.

Dwelling on the recent reports suggesting that Israel would pay compensations to the families of the nine victims, father Doğan said: “There are steps that Israel should take before paying a compensation. If Israel is to make a gesture, it should first lift its blockade of Gaza and Palestine.”

Noting that his son’s absence hurts him and their family more and more, Doğan said Israel will already be fined in its trial for the Mavi Marmara attack, so it should first lift the Gaza blockade.

Doğan also said he does not find Israel’s intention to offer and apology and pay compensations for the victims to be a sincere move.

“We are being asked about our views with regard to claims about Israel’s offering an apology and paying compensation for the victims in order to normalize its relations with Turkey. Our view is very clear. Those who were martyred on board the Mavi Marmara were massacred by Israel. Israel committed this massacre in international waters. The crime it committed is very obvious. Israel should confess to committing this massacre and offer an apology. Before this, if Israel wants to make a gesture, because they see an apology and compensation as gesture, Israel should lift the blockage on Gaza and Palestine. It should later offer and apology and pay a big amount of compensation for the victims. The reported amount of the compensation Israel plans to pay means an insult to Turkey and martyr families. It is even insulting for us to talk about such an issue. It is really hurtful for us. We never want to talk about the compensation and its amount. We were deeply shaken by the Israeli massacre. The amount of the compensation Israel will pay should also shake it,” said Doğan.

He said the first demand of martyr families from Israel is its removal of the blockade on Gaza. “We first want the removal of the blockage because our relatives sacrificed their lives for this goal. We want all aid materials to be taken to Gaza freely. It is impossible to bring Furkan back. The compensation to be paid by Israel will be part of the punishment it will be given, it will not be a price for the blood of the martyrs.”

Doğan also said the compensation to be paid by Israel to the martyr families will be used for charity work and humanitarian aid to Gaza.

“Personally speaking, I will not even spend a penny from the compensation. I think other martyr families think the same way. The compensation money will be spent for Gaza and Palestine or in other charity work. Nobody should have any suspicions about this,” said Doğan.

Noting that he received many phone calls from many world leaders and citizens over Furkan’s death, Doğan said what hurt him most is the United States’ failure not to file any case against Israel for the attack that killed a US citizen.

“The country that needed to give a reaction to Israel was the United States because Furkan was a US citizen; however, the United States failed to do so. Recently, they called us from the US Embassy and said they were sending Furkan’s death certificate to us. We heard nothing else from them.”

When asked about Doğan family’s longing for Furkan, the father had difficulty in holding his tears back. “It is very difficult to explain our longing for Furkan in words. It is like we are not living. We were really saddened by the latest developments. Our longing for Furkan grows everyday,” said Doğan.

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