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Turkey: Anger on the Streets


Tens of thousands again come together to protest.  The captured and the dead (from the recent raid by Israeli commandos on an aid flotilla) have been returned (to Turkey), but the Turkish people are intent on continuing to make their voices heard.  And fuelling the fury is the news of the preliminary autopsy reports, a statement from the Turkish Council of Forensic Medicine giving initial details about the dead.  According to the council, all nine of the dead were shot at close range; one of them, 19-year-old Furkan Dogan, was shot five times from the distance of not more than 43 centimeters.  Five of those killed were shot either in the back of the head or the back of the body, indicating that they were moving away from their Israeli attackers, not towards.

Over the past week, protests have continued in the day and night — the Palestinian flag ever present, waved alongside that of Turkey.  And evident too was the green flag of Hamas, signaling a widespread public embrace of all the Palestinian factions, something that is new on Turkish streets.  Even more surprisingly, the yellow flag of the Lebanese Hezbollah movement was also strongly present — a clear sign that what began as an expression of support for Palestine is now transformed into fundamental opposition to Israel. . . .

And the politicians have been quick to gauge the public shift, perhaps wanting to be seen to lead rather than follow.  The prime minister chose a venue far from his offices in Ankara to make his most damning and vitriolic attack yet on Israel, describing Hamas as resistance fighters defending their country. . . .

This video was released by Al Jazeera on 5 June 2010.  The text above is an edited partial transcript of the video.

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