Julie Webb-Pullman reports

IHH’s Mehmet Kaya on Mavi Marmara Court Case

Gaza City
04 November 2012

Mehmet Kaya, IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation Gaza Representative, today addressed a Press Conference at the Mavi Marmara Martyrs’ Monument at Gaza sea port about the Mavi Marmara trial against Israel which will begin at Çağlayan Courthouse in İstanbul on 06 November, and is expected to last three days.

Mehmet Kaya, IHH Gaza (2nd from right), and Ghazi Hamad , Gaza Deputy Foreign Minister (right) at Mavi Marmara Martyrs’ Memorial, Gaza Sea Port

IHH was one of the organisers of the Freedom Flotilla, and has played a significant role in getting the case to trial.

In an exclusive interview, Mehmet Kaya said that the significance of the trial is that Israel will be held accountable for killing “our brothers and friends in international waters”

He said the case is against Israel, the Israeli army, and the President, and that they hope to prevent them travelling freely around the world because they are guilty of crimes against humanity and crimes against Turkey.

He is not concerned that Israel may ignore the court case and its decision, as he believes Turkey will get justice in the end, although it will take some time.

Mehmet Kaya called on the international community to do the same as Turkey, and hold Israel accountable for its actions.

Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights, and Law Professor, endorses Turkey’s action in this matter, saying that Turkey’s initiative shows how national courts can play a role in setting international law in motion.

Speaking to Zümrüt Sönmez from IHH Media Department recently in Istanbul,Falk said that international law, particularly the United Nations, failed in the aftermath of the Mavi Marmara attack, and that the staging of such a trial in Turkey is a significant effort in terms of guarding the values of international law, and making it effective.

IHH reports that the defendants in the trial are former Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of General Staff General Gabi Ashkenazi, Naval Forces commander Vice Admiral Eliezer Marom, Israel’s military intelligence chief Major General Amos Yadlin and Air Forces Intelligence head Brigadier General Avishai Levi. They will be tried as “fugitive suspects.”

There are 490 complainants and victims in the case including flotilla passengers from 37 countries, and relatives of the martyrs.

Flotilla passengers from Turkey and other parts of the world, relatives of the Mavi Marmara martyrs and their lawyers will be present at the trial. The trial will be closely followed by human rights observers from Turkey and abroad, media members, jurists and representatives of non-governmental organizations.

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