By Mehmet Nedim Aslan
As eyewitness details have emerged about the Israeli assault on the Mavi Marmara carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, it has been claimed that one Israeli commando pointed his gun at the baby of the one of the passengers. The one-year old was threatened, apparently, in an attempt to persuade the ship's captain to stop his vessel. According to Britain's Guardian newspaper, an Algerian named only as Sabrina, made the accusation about the threat to the baby in front of his Turkish parents.
The baby, Turker Kaan Cetin, is the son of Ekrem Çetin, the ship's senior engineer, who didn't want to leave his wife and son behind when he set sail from Istanbul. Turker and his mother Nilüfer were the first Turkish nationals released by Israel after the hijacking. Speaking at Istanbul airport with her son, Nilufer Cetin told journalists that the Israelis created a "pool of blood" on board the Mavi Marmara. She said she was standing very close to the commandos who were firing their weapons.
When asked why she had taken such a young child on the trip, Ms. Cetin said, "What happened to us was one of the possibilities we considered. But there are many babies in Palestine and we wanted to play with them in Gaza. I wanted to help them and tell them that there is nothing to be afraid of because we are standing with them." If a new flotilla heads for Gaza, Ms. Cetin said that she will join it "happily".