Thursday, June 10, 2010

US Campaign offers condolences at Turkish Embassy

Last week, US Campaign National Media Coordinator David Hosey joined representatives of many other civil society organizations including CODEPINK, Friends of Sabeel North America, Viva Palestina, and Veterans for Peace in offering our condolences for the nine Turkish citizens (one of whom was also a U.S. citizen) killed by the Israeli military aboard the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. We met with the Sulemein Gokce, the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Turkish Embassy, who expressed his gratitude as we offered support, condolences, and cards for the families of those killed. He informed us that the Turkish government has asked the Israeli government not only for an investigation, apologies, and reparations for the family of those killed, but for an end to the siege on Gaza. You can echo these demands by emailing Congress and the White House. Mr. Gokce went on to tell us that the search for truth and justice in regards to the flotilla massacre would be an "arduous process," but that "we must not give in to pressure." "We can't fail," he said, "because a failure here would be a failure for humanity." These are powerful words, and a powerful motivating message for our movement. Don't let humanity down: take action today. Check out photos from the day: US Campaign National Media Coordinator David Hosey and Farrah Hassen stand with a CODEPINK banner outside of the Turkish Embassy. Representatives of CODEPINK and other human rights and peace organizations gather outside of the Turkish Embassy Medea Benjamin of US Campaign member group CODEPINK offers condolences to the Turkish Deputy Chief of Mission -- Here are photos and information nine people who were killed by the Israeli military on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla are, h/t to Lawrence of Cyberia:
1. Ibrahim Bilgen, 61, an electrical engineer from Siirt. Member of the Chamber of Electrical Engineers of Turkey. Ran as a Saadet (Felicity) Party candidate in the Turkish general election of 2007 and the Siirt mayoral election of 2009. Married with 6 children. (link - link - link - link)
2. Ali Haydar Bengi, 39, ran a telephone repair shop in Diyarbakir. Graduate of Al-Azhar University, Cairo (Department of Arabic Literature). Married to Saniye Bengi; four children - Mehunur (15), Semanur (10) and twins Mohammed and Senanur (5, pictured below). (link - link - link - link)
Ali haydar bengi Bengi twins
3. Cevdet Kiliçlar, 38, from Kayseri. A graduate of Marmara University's Faculty of Communications; formerly a newspaper journalist for the National Gazette and the Anatolia Times. For the past year he was a reporter and webmaster for the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH). Married to Derya Kiliçlar; one daughter, Gülhan, and one son, Erdem.
See him participating in an IHH African relief project here. See his Flickr photos here. (link - link - link - link)
Cevdet Kiliçlar_2
4. Çetin Topçuoglu, 54, from Adana. Former amateur soccer player and taekwondo champion, who coached Turkey's national taekwondo team. Married to with one son, Aytek.
See Çetin Topçuoglu's Facebook page here. (link - link - link - link)
Çetin Topçuoğlu
His wife, Çigdem Topçuoglu (below, right), was also aboard the Mavi Marmara, but survived. (link - link - link - link)
Çetin and Cigdem Topçuoğlu
5. Necdet Yildirim, 32, an IHH aid worker from Malatya. Married to Refika Yıldırım; one daughter, Melek, aged three. (link - link)
Necdet yildirim
6. Fahri Yaldiz, 43, a firefighter who worked for the Municipality of Adiyaman. Married with four sons. (link - link - link)
Fahri Yaldiz Fahri Yaldiz family2
7. Cengiz Songür, 47, from Izmir. Married to Nurcan Songür; six daughters and one son. (link - link - link - link - link)
Cengiz Songür_2
8. Cengiz Akyüz, 41, from Iskenderun. Married to Nimet Akyüz ; three children - Furkan (14), Beyza (12) and Erva Kardelen (nine). (link - link)
Cengiz Akyüz_2
9. Furkan Dogan, 19, in his senior year at Kayseri High School where he was awaiting the results of his university entrance exams; hoped to become a doctor. Loved chess. Son of Dr. Ahmet Dogan, Assoc Prof at Erciyes University. A Turkish-American dual national, with two siblings. (link - link - link - link - link - link - slideshow)
Furkan Dogan