Director of IHH, Bülent Yildirim Reports what happened, full trancription of the speech:
''Dear Press members, as you know, we have organised an activity with the participation of the peace activists from all over the world, there were people from more than 50 countries. 35 parliament members, many politicians, intellectuals, press members, We have departed with 9 ships in total, some ships were sabotaged on the way, some waited and couldnt countinue. We have waited a few days at sea, then countinued with the remained ships. Actually, to tell you the truth, as all of you think, we also didnt expect Irael to make an armed intervention to us, we didnt foresee it. Because Israel were saying, 'We will come with all our fleet' but we were saying 'You are misleading this crisis management, your advisors mislead you, especially this zionism regime isolates Jew people, leaves Israel alone in world day by day, be careful' we gave messages like this. But it come to such a state that Israel press constantly called us, they tried to intervene between the live cast.(live broadcasting and satellite connection was cut by Israel about 04:00 am,31st of May) And we had a 1 year old baby on board, women,children, and old people, christians, jews, atheists.We were together with people from all kind of opinions . And we actually have never been in Irael waters. This is the first time in world history, they have declared an open-ended military excercise. And Israel said this, 68miles as target range. It is incredible. When we looked at radars, we understand that it was a virtual military excercise, because other ships were wandering, Still, We sailed in 80 miles away, we sailed in international waters, but Israel did not understand this. And in an early date, our captain will also speak, we will set forth the truth with all documents, our route was Egypt waters, our aim was to enter via Egypt waters. There is nothing to concern to Israel. Despite all these, all of a sudden, zodiac boats started to surround us, the drones, choppers, F16s, 5 big warships and submarine.. What were we broadcasting on that ship?? We thought that they are trying to scare us, they would not attack us open seas, at least we thought they would not act so stupidly. And while the morning azan, (in the morning as you know muslims pray) we started performing our prayer, right at that moment, just like gog and magog, countless soldiers started to attack, from air, from the submarine, from zodiacs.. all kinds of devices were being used and they were attacking us. Still we thought that they are making a show to us. I mean, we would understand if we were in their waters or in the waters of Paletsine -the waters which they actually are pirating illagally- we may say that they may attack us. But no, they made a landing.. Our friends only did a civil relife. All the press was there. We said lets link our arms and not let them in. Then we understand that it is impossible.Now Israel listening, when they were questioning me I gave them a promise, that I will tell all when I return, I am a man of his word, there I told them : 'Look, You are misleading this crisis management, you are isolating Jew people with this policy'', still you are pushing Israel to loneliness. I have been questioned by all sections of Israel's armed forces for 3 days, they asked me : 'do you think that, Israel soldiers were not attacked there by metals, and axes?' and I answered : 'yes activists did hit them with matel sticks and chairs, why? Self defence. I explain this, I promise you I will return my country and say to press this info, yes our friends attacked you there with sticks they found there, but against what? against submarines, against choppers, planes and against Irael's most skilled commandos, against Israels upper task forces.Israel forces say we did not use weapon at first. Supposedly they did not use weapon at first and they got permisson to use real bullets at the 35th minute of intervene, this is what Israel told us. Ok, but you threw tear gas and noise bombs at first, and the shrapnel of these hit and wounded most of our people, isn't that weapon?? And the first bullets that you used? we made an istatistic, every first 2 bullets were plastic and after them all bullets were real, thin, nail like bullets. Our brother Cevdet, -may Allah give patience to his relatives..- He is martyr, he is a pres member, while Israel soldiers were firing, he was only taking a picture, and was shot in head, not far away, he was shot in close range, only in 1 meter distance he was shot, and his brain was smashed. Moreover, we were getting news of deaths second by second, we have realised that they are using real bullets.. as well as the plastic bullets at close range kills, and did, because soldiers shoot in close range.. they started open fire with real bullets. At the first phase,our friends defused 10 ofthe soldiers who came on board.Though actually it is our self defence, we said to ourselves:no matter what happens, we will not be wrong. I promised IDf soldiers to tell this, yes I say, we took their guns, and if we had used their guns, we would have acted legal in front of law, according to law, if someone aims a weapon at you, and you can disarm them, then you have right to use that weapon.Despite all these, we told ourselves, ' we will be martyred if necessary, but will not be the ones who used weapons, we will not put our selves to that position in scenes, we won't give that scene to world,this will put Israel to a worse position,we decided. With this decision our friends accepted martyr..and we threw the guns that we took from them to the sea.now I am saying, this was also my promise to IDF, I told IDF yes its true, you made a propaganda against us, what is that propaganda?You gave the scenes to world that our friends attacking your soldiers with sticks, you did very well by doing this, IDF had a reputation, a powerful reputation, Arab countries said IDF is unconquerable, but look, even a few volunteers could fight back to your most strong navy.now you have made joke of yourselves, I told these at the questioning, I promised to tell this,too. one of our friend is shot after he gave himself in, we have witnesses about this. And we had an Indonesian doctor among our friends, with him we put injured IDF soldiers to a side in order to prevent their getting hurt, we gave them water,we made thier med.treatments,at that moment of close battle,upper desk our friends are dying,we were healing IDF soldiers..everytime we heal IDF soldiers,we receieved a new death news. I told my Indonesian friend to deliver the injured IDF soldier, he wasnt carrying anyweapon but they shot him there delivering the cured soldier.. There was nothing called 'humanity' there. Then afterwards I took off my shirt and raised it as a white flag, but no, continue of attacks is unbelievable.. we thought they would stop shooting after they saw the white flag, but they continued killing people, one of friends saw two dead people in one of the toilets, we do not know who were they and, their bodies are missing, too. Now IDF gave us 9 corpses of martrys, their families will identify them but our list aout dead people is higher.. we have missings.. nothing is certain. Our doctors delivered 38 injured people to Israel with their hands, but on the way to Turkey, they said there are 21 injured people. They say that 'we can not hide an incident which is heard all over the world' I hope they are right.. we do not want an increase on the numbers of the deaths, either.. We made broadcast to the world, we had 3 systems of satellite, they have cut only the one of them, we made broad cast on web for hours, The world has seen their real faces.. Dear friends, we have never been unlawful, we have made a self abandonment, and we have even followed the law that we didnt believe in. There were war ships around, they had to help, but they did not.. And we had the right to use those weapons we took from them but we did not use, and when their soldiers were down in our hands, we gave their waters, made their medical teratments.. but in return, they killed our friends who surrendered.. they killed our friends and threw at the sea but we can not know who it at the moment.. they have killed the doctor delivering IDF soldier, and we have so many injured people we will see these in the coming days. And what did they do later on? Continuing events are far more interesting.. ok we gave ourselves in, put our hands up.. all together.. there were women too. we gave in because there were women among us, if it werent fort hem we would not give in.I congratulate all my friends.None of them stepped back.muslim,christian,jews,atheists..none of them stepped back.. from the youngest to the oldest.. they captured that one yera old baby's mother, hold the baby as hostage.they seperated the baby from his mother and father, afterwards when they could not look after the baby then they brought the baby back.They were cruel this much.. none of the people on board stepped back.. none of them actually hurt nobody, in order that Palestine peoples' rights to be well known by world. because we went there to give voice to oppressed peoples rights in front of the world.. we had wounded people, shot in the head, his brain is smashed, I dont wantto name him 'cause his position is very critic now, may be he will not survive. We left 2 very seriously wounded there. But these are what IDFs said to us, we will look up the lists, I hope IDF is right, because may be some of the injured which are in good condition may have joined and come with us.. I mean I will neither slander them, nor I will hide truth.I will make a true report and give exact information to whole humanity.. They were using lasers, then shooting, I saw this girl, a girl from Çeşme, an English citizen,I will never forget her scene..This girl dared to write a note and went to soldiers to deliver our injured people with that note, they almost shot her. Then we started to give injured people to IDF, they took us out one by one, it lasted for many hours. No one could go to toilets, old people, women, children..Soldiers with guns in ther hands, they insulted us all the time, and continued all the time.Then they took us to the 2nd layer of the ship, tied our hands in the back, they tied somepeoples hands in front of them, they tied hard, we still have the traces of ropes. Then they tortured us for 5 hours. Do you know what torture? They intentionally brought the choppers above us, choppers poured the cold water they took from the sea on us, choppers fan was turning above us. We were frozen. We saw an ice torture there.. those choppers were carrying injured people at the same time, injured people were waiting in the choppers while they were torturing us. Supposedly they were carrying injured people.. choppers left after torturing us. They would have carried most of the injured people all at once with a few choppers, but they didi not, they carried the injured people one by one. Other friends will tell you, doctors opened a persons leg with an instrument like screwdriwer without anaesthetize.. arent you doctors? Dont you have an heart? We have surrendered to you.. you have attacked us, you have killed our friends, you injured our friends, we surrendered to you, we gave our injured ones to your hands.. all this will be learned, 'cause these will be talked over and over. But it was not enough... they made us wait for hours in every step.. then afterwards, they started conciliation, why? Because Turkey and the world reacted.. Hereby I thank the people of turkey and people of the world...., thanks to NGOs and special thanks to media. Media members on the ship and the media here have made a huge contribution to this victory in the name of humanity.. We always said this, I told this to IDF too, during the questionings;
If the same opression was done to Jewish people by Palestinian Muslims, I would organize the same flotilla for them. Our point is oppression. The identity of the oppressor or the oppressed does not matter to us. The director of MazlumDER is here, it is their motto, too. Israel actually harmed herself.. Afterwards they started conciliation, gave us meal etc, as if we are kids to convince.. but in the night they rap the doors, take one of us, he doesnt come back for hours etc.. Anyway, dear friends, I want to express my thanks to the President of the Turkey Republic(Mr.Gül), Prime Minister (Mr.Erdoğan), and especially to Mr.Ahmet, I mean Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu,the foreign Minister, who made a true effort. I would also like to thank Mr.Erbakan who called me there, and I herad on the plane, and was pleased to hear about the manners of all political party's leaders, I would like to thank them all. And I would like to thank Turkish Airlines, Ministry of Health who made effort a lot. Not only we, all the world appreciate them. This is an international organisation.. This scene you see here is a very little part of our portrait. Now finally I call out to the world: THIS EMBARGO WILL BE LIFTED.. We are not afraid that we lost our people there, we will continue until this embargo is lifted, we will all together see that the humanity will win... I am calling out to the world... Whether you will lift this embargo, or we will do this as the NGO's of the world... As the NGO's or the world we have already made this decision... Both as the Human Right Organisations and as the Humanitarian Aid Organisations, if neccessary, in order to lift this embargo, at a date which we will decide, with bigger filos, and with bigger autocades, we will mobilize the world to Gaza, via Egypt and by the sea at the same time. Governments' leaders have to think about what will happen afterwards... Whether you will save these people (Palestines) or we will pay a price and you too will pay a price... We are determined about this. Dear friends, all folks of the world who has a conscience are united... we are not afraid anything and we will not step back of anything... I thank you all... ''