Turkish newspapers: Turks on humanitarian ship intended to be “martyrs”

The Sydney Morning Herald reports:

“Some sought martyrdom”
June 4, 2010

JERUSALEM: A hard core of 40 Turkish militants on the Mavi Marmara was responsible for the violence that led to nine deaths and dozens of injuries on the flotilla taking aid to Gaza, Israel claimed yesterday.

The allegation came as Turkish newspapers reported that three of the four Turks killed in the onslaught had declared their readiness to become martyrs.

“I am going to be a martyr. I dreamt about it,” Ali Haider Banjinin, 39, from Kurdistan, told his family before leaving to join the flotilla, according to one report.

The brother-in-law of retired engineer Ibrahim Bilgen, 61, told another paper that “martyrdom suited him very much. Allah gave him a death he desired.”

A third Turkish casualty, Ali Akbar Yertilmis, a father of four from Ankara, had “dreamt of becoming a martyr,” a friend was quoted as saying.

“Roughly 40 people on board were jihadis who came for violence,” an Israeli official said. “They were preparing to attack, to kill and to be killed.”

The source would not confirm a report in Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth that some of those on board might have had connections with al-Qaeda.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 05, 2010 01:51 PM | Send

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