Turkey auctions off flagship vessel from Gaza flotilla raid

Turkey auctions off flagship vessel from the 2010 Gaza flotilla raid
2 min read
21 November, 2021
The 'Anatolian', once known as 'Mavi Marmara', was at the heart of a diplomatic incident between Ankara and Tel-Aviv after Israeli troops stormed the ship that was carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza and killed ten Turkish activists.
Several 'freedom flotillas' have attempted to break the more than a decade-long Israeli blockade of Gaza [Anadolu Agency/Getty]

Turkey has put up for sale the "Anatolian" ship, previously known as the "Mavi Marmara", Israeli media reported on Sunday.

The vessel became world-famous in 2010 after it made headlines for causing a diplomatic confrontation between Ankara and Tel-Aviv, after Israeli troops stormed the ship, which was carrying aid to Gaza, and killed ten Turkish activists.

The Anatolian belonged to a Turkish shipping company but recently fell in the hands Turkish authorities, following the alleged foreclosure of its owner.

It is currently anchored in the port of Mogadishu, Somalia's capital. Turkish authorities have reported that the ship underwent recent attacks by pirates in the Gulf of Aden and is damaged, but operational.

The 93-meters long 'Mavi Marmara', now 'Anatolian', was the largest ship to take part in a May 2010 humanitarian flotilla, which sought to break Israel's blockade against Gaza.

The vessel was intercepted by the Israeli forces shortly before entering Gaza. Israeli troops stormed the ship and were allegedly attacked on board, to which they responded by opening fire on the crew and activists.

The Israeli attack resulted in the death of nine Turkish citizens on the spot and one more in the hospital a few years later. It plunged relations between Turkey and Israel into the abyss, as Turkey withdrew its ambassador from Israel, issued arrest warrants against top Israeli commanders, and demanded compensation, which Israel finally provided in 2013 under a US-brokered deal. 

In 2017, Israel paid $20 millions in compensation to the victims' families and Turkey agreed to close the legal case against the Israeli forces. Nevertheless, Turkish-Israeli relations never fully recovered and Turkey became one of the strongest critics of Israeli actions in Gaza in the aftermath of the Mavi Marmara raid.

The 2012 Gaza flotilla carried humanitarian aid and medical equipment of which Gaza had been deprived since 2007, due to Israel's ongoing blockade against the impoverished Palestinian enclave.