The Flotilla Incident from the Perspective of International Law and the Judicial Rights of the Victims

Authors

  • Ömer Bedir Hacettepe University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17561/tahrj.v15.5817

Keywords:

Compensation Agreement, International Criminal Court, International Law, Mavi Marmara flotilla, San Remo

Abstract

The Mavi Marmara flotilla, which sailed for a humanitarian mission and aimed to break the Israeli blockade to Gaza, was intercepted by the Israeli soldiers on high sea on 31st May 2010. In this raid, nine civilians have lost their lives on the spot and 55 others were wounded. States and their agents can be held accountable if they commit crimes. Therefore, the Mavi Marmara victims have the right to sue at national and international level the Israeli officers who took part in the operation. Some victims have filed criminal and civil cases before the Turkish courts against Israel and its officers. Besides these judicial cases brought before the national courts, a referral was also made by the Union of the Comoros, flag country of the Mavi Marmara vessel, to the International Criminal Court. Meanwhile, Turkey and Israel have signed a bilateral agreement for the compensation of the bereaved  families. This compensation agreement clears Israel and its officers off all legal responsibilities arising from the flotilla incident before the Turkish courts. This bilateral agreement is a legal obstruction imposed to the victims in their quest of justice. The Turkish Court of Cassation, in its recent decisions, has requested the courts of first instance to take into consideration the provisions of the said agreement.  Despite the above mentioned agreement, the victims shall have still the right to sue the Israeli officials responsible for the flotilla incident before national, foreign and international courts, on the grounds of crime against humanity, provided that the necessary requirements are fulfilled.

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Published

2020-12-15

How to Cite

Bedir, Ömer. (2020). The Flotilla Incident from the Perspective of International Law and the Judicial Rights of the Victims. The Age of Human Rights Journal, (15), 51–72. https://doi.org/10.17561/tahrj.v15.5817

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ARTICLES