The Mavi Marmara Trial: Politicising the Turkish Justice System
1 J. OXFORD CTR. FOR STUDY OF L. & PUB. POL’Y 49 (2015)
38 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2016
Date Written: January 21, 2016
The Mavi Marmara Trial: Politicising the Turkish Justice System, scrutinises this trial and offers a window into the progressively more politicised Turkish Justice System. This paper clarifies the facts arising out of the 31 May 2010 clash between Israeli forces and vessels of the Free Gaza Flotilla. The Mavi Marmara, a Comoros-flagged vessel with a Turkish Master sought to breach the Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. The ensuing melee resulted in the deaths of nine passengers and serious injury to other passengers as well as Israeli commandos. This event became the opening act of a still-ongoing criminal inquiry that has resulted in an attempt by the Turkish government to try Israeli military officers for acts that it would excuse with respect to its own public servants. This paper shows that the Mavi Marmara criminal trial — representing the misapplication of Turkish criminal law and criminal procedure law — is a political show trial that neither comports with the minimal requirements for a fair trial nor seeks to ascertain the truth and do justice. This trial, which violates the Law of Armed Conflict, is part of a Turkish effort to impose Turkey’s view of applicable law on Israel. Beyond the trial’s political motivation, it makes a mockery of the rule of law and has converted the Turkish judicial system into an object of ridicule.
Keywords: Turkey, Israel, Mavi Marmara, San Remo Manual, law of armed conflict, Free Gaza flotilla, Gaza Strip, naval blockade
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