1. An analysis of the names of the Turks killed in the violent confrontation with the IDF aboard the Mavi Marmara shows that almost all of them (eight of the nine) belonged to IHH or to Islamist Turkish factions or groups affiliated with IHH.
2. The one exception was a 19-year old named Furkan Dogan who had dual Turkish-American citizenship and whose involvement in the confrontation was unclear. In effect, according to an article in Radikal, a small intellectual Turkish newspaper which offers varied points of view, before the confrontation with the IDF Dogan wrote a diary entry attesting to his desire to become a shaheed.
3. The article in Radikal criticized the Turkish government’s policy of referring to those killed as shaheeds because their activity was civilian and not religious. According to the paper, it was enough to quote the diary of high school student Furkan Dogan, who wrote the following on the morning before the confrontation: "I think there is not much time left for that moment of martyrdom. Is there anything more honorable? If there is, it should be my mother. I am not sure of that either. Which one’s better? My mother’s compassion or dying for a noble cause?" (radikal.com.tr, June 16, 2010). The same quote appears on another website, which notes that they were his last words (sailanmuslim.com).1 (Note: The above quotation was taken from the Sailanmuslim website.)
4. In addition, a report in the Turkish paper Zaman (quoted by the Israeli media) stated that before Furkan boarded the Mavi Marmara he asked for his parents’ blessing. His brother Mustafa said that "we did not expect him to return to us like this. But we are not sorry he was killed as a shaheed." His father said that the family believed Furkan died an honorable death and was blessed in paradise (Haaretz.co.il, June 3; Ynet.co.il, June 4, 2010).
5. According to information collected so far, before the violent confrontation most of the Turks killed (seven of the nine) had declared in one way or another that they intended to die as shaheeds. Three put the possibility they would die as shaheeds into writing (in a diary entry, a letter and a will), one said so in a video found aboard the Mavi Marmara, and friends and relatives reported they had been informed of desire of three to die as shaheeds. Those findings, added to the great amount of information gathered since the IDF took control of the Mavi Marmara, indicate premeditated preparations for brutal violence against the IDF by the hard core of extremist Islamist operatives. It is not within our competence to judge the degree of religious fervor or authentic commitment to which each of the above sought to fulfill his desire to become a shaheed. However, the information deepens our understanding of the nature of the hard core of operatives who confronted the IDF forces and of the type of the violence they employed.