Ceremonies Mark Fifth Anniversary of Mavi Marmara Raid

Nine people were killed and another subsequently died of injuries when Israeli commandos raided the Turkish ship that was attempting to break the blockade on Gaza.

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The Mavi Marmara leaves Turkey en route to the Gaza Strip in May 2010.
The Mavi Marmara leaves Turkey en route to the Gaza Strip in May 2010.Credit: AP

Ceremonies were held in Turkey and the Gaza Strip on Sunday to mark the fifth anniversary of the Israeli commando raid on a Turkish ship attempting to break the Israeli blockade on the Strip in 2010.

Nine Turkish citizens were killed during the raid on the Mavi Marmara and another died four years later from his injuries.

In Ankara, the Turkish capital, scores of people held early morning prayers in front of the residence of the Israeli ambassador, Hurriyet Daily News reported. An exhibition was held in another Turkish city, Kayseri, to commemorate one of the victims.

In Gaza City, Palestinians placed a wreath on a memorial built for the victims. During the ceremony, attendees held banners reading, “We salute you, Turkish people."

“We have gathered here today to honor those who had made the biggest sacrifice and died for Palestine," said Jamal al-Hudari, president of the Popular Committee Against the Siege.

"We send our greetings to the relatives of the martyrs and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,” al-Hudari said.

Hamas official Bassem Naeem described the Mavi Marmara incident as "seminal" in the history of the Palestinians and demanded that Israel be brought to court for killing the Turkish activists on board of the Turkish ship.

Turkey withdrew its ambassador from Jerusalem following the incident. The Israeli ambassador in Turkey was subsequently declared persona non grata and expelled in September 2011 after Israel refused to apologize for the killings.

Israel formally apologized in 2013 for what it called “operational mistakes” that might have led to the deaths of the victims in the incident. Turkey and Israel have since been negotiating a compensation deal, but no agreement has yet been reached.

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