Last Updated: Sun Oct 17, 2010 00:18 am (KSA) 21:18 pm (GMT)

Turks shot 31 times on flotilla: Forensic report

Five of the Turks died from bullet wounds to the head, according to forensic reports (File)
Five of the Turks died from bullet wounds to the head, according to forensic reports (File)

All but two of the nine Turks killed in an Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship were shot more than once, and five died from bullet wounds to the head, according to forensic reports.

The reports were made available to AFP Tuesday by lawyers for the victims' families, who have petitioned Turkish prosecutors to investigate the May 31 bloodshed on the Turkish Mavi Marmara ferry.

The forensic examinations were carried out in Turkey by the government-run Forensic Institute.

 The findings make it clear the Israeli forces shot to kill the activists and not to overpower them 
Yasin Divrak

"The findings make it clear the Israeli forces shot to kill the activists and not to overpower them," one of the lawyers, Yasin Divrak, told AFP.

The nine volunteers were shot a total of 31 times, according to the documents.

The youngest victim, 19-year-old Furkan Dogan, a dual Turkish-U.S. national, was shot five times, including twice in the head, his autopsy report said.

A bullet that pierced his face was fired from close range, it said, adding he was hit also in the back of the head.

The forensic experts failed to detect other point-blank shots on the remaining victims.

No conclusion on ranges

All nine bodies had been washed before being brought to Turkey and their clothes were either blood-soaked or otherwise unfit for analysis, making it impossible to reach a conclusion on the ranges of most shots, according to the documents.

Another victim, Ali Heyder Bengi, 39, was shot six times, including once in the abdomen, while Fahri Yildiz, 43, was hit by five bullets, among them a fatal one in the chest, according to the documents.

Journalist Cevdet Kiliclar, 38, the web editor of the Islamist charity IHH that led the ill-fated campaign, was killed by a single bullet that hit him between the eyebrows, the report said.

Divrak drew attention to the autopsy of 61-year-old Ibrahim Bilgen, which included the discovery of a tiny bag containing pellets, still intact in his brain, which the report said was fired from a hunting rifle.

"It is not a type of weapon that we have ever heard of," he said.

Three bullet wounds were also found in Bilgen's chest, back and hip.

Israel says its commandos used force after they were attacked with sticks and stabbed as soon as they landed on the Mavi Marmara, which was sailing in international waters. But the activists insist the troops opened fire as soon as they landed.

The bloody ending to the aid mission, which had aimed to break the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip, plunged ties between Turkey and Israel, once close allies, into deep crisis.

Turkey has dismissed a commission set up by Israel to investigate the raid, insisting for a U.N.-led international probe.

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