They never expected it. Neither did they really want it to come. But when Israel’s formal apology for the Mavi Marmara raid did arrive they were caught off guard. And when Erdoğan went ahead and accepted the apology they were deeply perturbed.
What made the matter even more disturbing for them was the fact that the Israeli apology was accepted only days after Erdoğan had equated Zionism with racism, saying it should be considered “a crime against humanity,” much to the joy of the Turkish members of the international Muslim Brotherhood.
As if this was not bad enough, one of the principle activists on the Mavi Marmara, the actor Sinan Albayrak, came out in remarks to daily Akşam after the Israel apology saying he wished the government had prevented them from trying to break Israel’s Gaza blockade in the first place.
“What is the importance of the apology? ‘We killed nine people and are sorry’ – of course it sounds ridiculous. I say this is what the state should have done. If only it had prevented this at the start. But we asked for it. We went there ourselves.”
This is what Albayrak said. Confused as his remarks appear to be, they nevertheless express a regret that cannot have gone down well in Islamist circles. Especially the bit about “We asked for it.” Some are suggesting now that those who were on the Mavi Marmara when it was raided by Israeli commandoes should bring charges against the Turkish state, seeing as a prominent personality on the ship now says it could have prevented them from trying to breach the Israeli blockade.