Turkey to Attempt to Indict Israeli Official over Mavi Marmara Incident

This week, Turkey’s chief prosecutor completed writing a 144-page indictment of Israeli commandoes and commanding officers over the Mavi Marmara incident in May 2010 and plans to submit it to an international court next week.

According to an article in the Turkish newspaper Sabah, Abdurrahaman Ylcinkaya will submit an indictment of several retired Israeli military officers, including former Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi and generals leading the Navy, Air Force and Marines as well as military intelligence.  The charges in the indictment include ordering subordinates to kill, wound and abduct as well as looting and torture.  The indictment calls for 10 life sentences for each officer and will be submitted to a local Istanbul prosecutor for presentation to a court.  Turkish police already ah ve arrest warrants for four senior military officers already have warrants for their arrest should they enter Turkey for any reason.

The newspaper report also said that over 600 people were interviewed during the course of the composition of the indictment, including the passengers on the various ships in the protest flotilla that attempted to break a navy blockage as well as families of the terrorists who were killed by IDF commandos.

The indictment follows Turkey’s crusade against Israel in the wake of the Mavi Marmara incident that occurred off the Israeli coast in May 2010 and Israel’s exoneration from guilt in 2011.  Since that time, Turkey has cut all ties with Israel and has demanded that Israeli apologize and pay money for the incident.  In addition, Turkey has brought up its grudge against Israel in other arena, such as NATO conferences and UN Security Council meetings.  Israel has refused to neither pay nor apologize, pointing to its exoneration via the Palmer report and the fact that those aboard the ship were Islamists belonging to the IHH terrorist group based in Turkey.

Israel reacted with officials saying that they would not react until they see the actual indictment.  However, officials also said that legal action is no surprise, considering the past and that the announcement can be considered a threat and not a helpful step towards easing the tension between the two nations.