The 2nd Nevsehir Civil Court of First Instance sentenced Israel to pay compensation on Saturday to a Turkish journalist Yucel Velioglu working for Turkey’s state owned Anadolu Agency who was aboard when Mavi Marmara ship was attacked by Israeli commandos.
The Mavi Marmara was a Comoros-flagged passenger ship owned by a Turkish NGO - the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) - and was one of the six civilian ships of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla targeted by an Israeli military operation on May 31, 2010.
The 2nd Nevsehir Civil Court of First Instance accepted application of Velioglu, and ruled Israel to pay a compensation of TL 40,000 ($ 14,900) for the damages of pain and suffering, and TL 6,103 ( $2,300) for material compensation.
The court said the state of Israel detained Velioglu while aboard on Mavi Marmara ship, confiscated his belongings against law, and violated his rights and freedom during the raid in which nine Turkish activists were killed by Israeli soldiers and tenth victim later died from heavy wounds.
Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla took place in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea.
Velioglu was one of the journalists happened to be on Mavi Marmara flotilla during the Israeli raid and he pursued to charge Israel following the incident for the unlawful detention.
The flotilla was set up by an international coalition called the Free Gaza Movement, which included the IHH. It aimed to break Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, which had heightened in 2007 when Hamas took over Gaza.
In a relative development, the recent application of IHH lawyers to the International Criminal Court (ICC) appealing against the previous decision by court’s prosecutor Fatou Bensouda not to pursue the case, was accepted by ICC on May 7.
The Pre-Chamber of the ICC will hear arguments of the relatives and attorneys of those who were injured and killed, and this could pave the way for the prosecution of Israeli actions during the raid.
At a press conference organised by IHH on Saturday regarding the development in case of Velioglu, IHH General-Secretary Yavuz Dede said, “The 2nd Nevsehir Civil Court of First Instance’s decision gives us strength to seek justice for the Mavi Marmara cases. Therefore, it is much valuable.”
Turkish lawyers, Cihad Gokdemir and Ugur Yildirim who are pursuing the Mavi Marmara case were also present at the press meet.
“The decision will constitute a precedent for other case applications by convicting Israel to pay compensation for the Mavi Marmara incident. We are expecting more convictions from other courts in the name of public opinion,” he added.