AZERBAIJAN: SCANDAL AT CONFERENCE ON MAVI MARMARA ATTACK
Oct 18 2011
Baku’s Hotel Europe hosted a conference titled “To Freedom with Mavi
Marmara.” A scandal occurred between the organizers of the event and
hotel management while Turkish reporter Hakan Albayrag was delivering
a speech. Turan reports that the hotel management demanded that
the organizers remove the large pictures of the Mavi Marmara vessel
(ship of the Peace Flotilla which was carrying humanitarian aid to the
Palestinians) and the pictures of the attacks on the Peace Flotilla
in 2010 May.
The hotel management described the conference as a unilateral political
event and the hotel’s general manager, an ethnic Turk, said that
“his career was over.” According to Turan, the photos were removed
but the general manager remained agitated.
The conference “To Freedom with Mavi Marmara” had been organized by
the “Asian Dialogue” NGO. The event was dedicated to the events of May
2010, when the Peace Flotilla was trying to break the blockade of Gaza.
On May 31, 2010, six ships of the so-called “Freedom Flotilla”
destined for Gaza were stopped by Israel’s Navy off the coast in the
Mediterranean Sea. Five of the ships heeded the call, one however
the Mavi Maramara refused, precipitating a forced boarding by troops
from Israel’s Navy. During the struggle, nine activists were killed,
and many were wounded. Ten of the commandos were also wounded, one of
them seriously. The five other ships in the flotilla employed passive
resistance, which was suppressed without major incident. The ships
were towed to Israel, where all passengers were detained and deported.