Twenty-eight children lost their fathers as a result of the Israeli attack on the Freedom Flotilla.
Nine people were shot dead on May 31 by Israeli soldiers who attacked the Turkish vessel M.V. Mavi Marmara as it attempted to transport humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip.
Eight of them were fathers whose children are now yatims (orphaned) due to the Israeli assault on the Freedom Flotilla.
The Arabic word yatim is usually translated as orphan. However, in the Islamic religion, the word yatim actually means a child whose father is dead or whose father and mother are dead. This is the reason why Islamic media outlets are calling the children orphans.
Following are brief biographies of the nine people, as reported by Lawrenceofcyberia.blogs.com:
1. Ibrahim Bilgen
Ibrahim Bilgen, 61, was an electrical engineer from Siirt. He was a member of the Chamber of Electrical Engineers of Turkey. He ran as a Saadet (Felicity) Party candidate in the Turkish general election of 2007 and the Siirt mayoral election of 2009. He was married with 6 children.
2. Ali Haydar Bengi
Ali Haydar Bengi, 39, ran a telephone repair shop in Diyarbakir. He was a graduate of Al-Azhar University, Cairo (Department of Arabic Literature). He was married to Saniye Bengi and had four children — Mehunur (15), Semanur (10), and twins Mohammed and Senanur (5).
3. Cevdet Kiliçlar
Cevdet Kiliçlar, 38, was from Kayseri. He was a graduate of Marmara University’s Faculty of Communications and formerly a newspaper journalist for the National Gazette and the Anatolia Times. For the past year, he was a reporter and webmaster for the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH). He was married to Derya Kiliçlar, and had one daughter, Gülhan, and one son, Erdem.
4. Cetin Topçuoglu
Cetin Topçuoglu, 54, was from Adana. He was a former amateur soccer player and taekwondo champion who coached Turkey’s national taekwondo team. He was married and had one son, Aytek. His wife, Cigdem Topçuoglu, was also aboard the Mavi Marmara, but survived.
5. Necdet Yildirim
Necdet Yildirim, 32, was an IHH aid worker from Malatya. He was married to Refika Yildirim and had one daughter, Melek, aged three.
6. Fahri Yaldiz
Fahri Yaldiz, 43, was a firefighter who worked for the Municipality of Adiyaman. He was married and had four sons.
7. Cengiz Songür
Cengiz Songür, 47, was from Izmir. He was married to Nurcan Songür and had six daughters and one son.
8. Cengiz Akyüz
Cengiz Akyüz, 41, was from Iskenderun. He was married to Nimet Akyüz and had three children — Furkan (14), Beyza (12), and Erva Kardelen (nine).
9. Furkan Dogan
Furkan Dogan, 19, was in his senior year at Kayseri High School, where he was awaiting the results of his university entrance exams. He had hoped to become a doctor and loved chess. He was the son of Dr. Ahmet Dogan, an associate professor at Erciyes University. He was a Turkish-American dual national with two siblings.
The Israeli military attacked the Freedom Flotilla in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea early on May 31, killing nine Turkish citizens on board the six ships and injuring about 50 other people.
The fate of three other Freedom Flotilla activists is still unknown.
Israel also arrested nearly 700 activists from 42 countries on board the Freedom Flotilla, which was attempting to break the siege of Gaza in order to deliver 10,000 tons of humanitarian assistance to the long-suffering people of the territory.