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Three of the four Turks killed on ship sought Martyr's death

Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik  |
Three of the four Turks killed on ship
sought Martyr's death

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

The following is from the official Palestinian Authority daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida:

Headline: "Three of the four Turkish victims of the Israeli attack wished to die as "Shahids" (Martyrs)"

"Three of the four Turks killed in the Israeli attack on the "Freedom Flotilla" bound for the Gaza Strip wanted to die as Martyrs, said their relatives and friends. The wife of one of them, Ali Haydar Bengi, told the Vatan daily: "He used to help the poor and the oppressed. For years, he wanted to go to Palestine. And he constantly prayed to Allah to grant him Shahada (Martyrdom).
The names of the Turkish nationals killed in Monday's attack have not been officially released, but the Turkish media identified them yesterday as four men who were involved in Islamic movements or Islamic NGO's...
Ali worked at telephone repair shop in Diyarbakir, the largest city in south-eastern Turkey. Sabir Ceylan, a friend of Ali, told the Milliyet newspaper: 'Before embarking on this journey [to Gaza], he said he desired to become a Martyr. He had a strong desire to die as a Martyr.'
Another Turkish victim was Ali Ekber Yaratilmis, a 55-year old pensioner. He was a father of five who lived in Ankara. Ali volunteered for the Turkish Aid and Human Rights Organization [IHH], which transfers aid to Gaza. A friend, Mehmet Faruk Cevher, told the Sabah daily that [Ali] 'devoted his life to charity work, that's why he went to Gaza. He always wanted to become a Martyr.'
The third victim was Ibrahim Bilgen, a 61-year old pensioner and father of six sons. He was a supporter of the Felicity Party, an Islamic movement in the south-eastern city of Siirt, Anatolia news agency reported. His brother-in-law, Nuri Mergen, told the Agency: 'He was an exemplary man and a truly good man. That's why he was truly worthy of Shahada (Martyrdom). Allah granted him the death that he wished for.'"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 3, 2010]

Palestinian Media Watch reported in the last two days that participants on board were chanting Islamic battle cries and talking about their coming Martyrdom on the days before the confrontation.

PMW bulletin May 30: Gaza flotilla participants created war atmosphere before confronting Israel
PMW bulletin June 1: More documentation of flotilla planning violence against Israel