Cevdet Kılıçlar was among the nine people killed during the attack of the Israeli Army on the "Mavi Marmara" vessel, one of the aid ships carrying tonnes of humanitarian help for Gaza, on 31 May. Kılıçlar was a member of the press staff of the Human Rights and Freedoms (İHH) Humanitarian Help Foundation, which organized the campaign.
İHH President Bülent Yıldırm said that Kılıçlar was taking photographs when soldiers entering the ship from a helicopter hit Kılıçlar on his head.
Taraf newspaper reported that Kılıçlar had been working for them as well and previously also for the Selam and Milli ('Salaam and National') newspaper. The newspaper's information was based on a telephone conversation with Rıdvan Kaya, general director of the Association for Free Thought and Educational Rights (Özgür-Der), while he was being detained in Israel.
Entire belongings seized
Sabah newspaper reporter Mediha Olgun was released after 72 hours. After her return to Turkey, she explained, "They seized our phones, our laptops and our cameras. They ordered us into a cabin one by one and they fully undressed us. They cut my shoes and searched the soles. They seized all of our back up materials, all of the pictures. They confiscated everything".
"Our photographs were taken one by one. Our entire personal belongings and our electronic equipment stayed there, they confiscated it. I was just able to save my passport", Olgun recalled.
The Press Institute Association reported that reporter Kate Geraghty from the Australian Sidney Morning Herald newspaper was hit in her arm with a weapon in the course of the intervention.
The International Press Institute (IPI) forwarded information from the newspaper's executive editor, Peter Kerr. He said that consular officials visited Geraghty in detention. "Kate says that when the Israelis boarded the vessel she was hit in the upper arm by some form of weapon, which she thought might have been a stun gun." She sustained bruising, a minor burn on the upper arm, and has felt nauseous since being hit, IPI reported.
According to Kerr, Geraghty told the consular officials that the other Herald employee, Paul Mc Geough, 'would fight against deportation'.
Kerr furthermore reported that Aaj TV editor Mustafa Baig and IPI employees Talat Hüseyin and Rıza Mahmut Agha were released. "The journalists were taken to the Jordanian Embassy in Tel Aviv and will return to Pakistan on Thursday", he said.
According to information from the Hindu newspaper, Hüseyin said on the phone with the Aaj TV station, "They shot four people in the forehead right in front of my eyes. I witnessed those four people dying".
Reporter Gadijah Davids from Radio Cape Town from South Africa was released as well. His mother Magboeaba Davids said, "We were able to talk to her for 30 seconds last night. She said he was on his way back".
IPI: Israel constitutes bad example
IPI Director David Dadge announced, "Perhaps the most worrying aspect of this incident is the signal that Israel is sending to repressive nations across the globe. By its actions the Israeli government is essentially saying that it is acceptable to jam the communications of journalists, confiscate their equipment and footage, and arrest and hold journalists against their will." (EÖ/TK/VK)