Israeli raid on Gaza Freedom Flotilla killed US citizen Furkan Dogan
Furkan Dogan – one of the activists killed in an Israeli raid on the Gaza 'Freedom Flotilla' and buried in Turkey today – was a US citizen. A friend, who had been on board the same ship, said Dogan was shot by five bullets.
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Furkan Dogan was struck by five bullets shortly before dawn on Monday while atop the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara ship, according to friends who were on board at the time of the Israeli raid and attended the funeral for eight of the nine Turks who died.
The website of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan – who called the Israeli raid a "bloody massacre" and threatened to sever ties with Israel – listed Mr. Dogan's nationality as American. A State Department spokesman confirmed a dual US-Turkish citizen was killed and said the embassy in Turkey had offered consular services to the family.
Dogan’s death and his US citizenship were spoken of at the funeral.
“Furkan was my friend,” said Ali Yunusoalu, who went with Dogan for pre-dawn prayers on the top deck of the Mavi Marmar on Monday. Israeli naval boats soon approached the ship, he said, and then commandos dropped from helicopters.
“The soldiers started shooting and bombing” with bullets and percussion grenades, said Mr. Yunusoalu. “It was a big sound – you can’t hear a thing because of the noise.”
Dogan ran “everywhere” before he was killed, recalled Yunusoalu. “We were very afraid.”
Dogan's father told the state-run Anatolia News Agency that his son had been shot in the forehead, but that the family took comfort believing that Furkan had died with honor, reports the Associated Press.
"I feel my son has been blessed with heaven," said the father, who was not named by AP. "I am hoping to be a father worthy of my son."
Though Dogan’s ongoing American ties appear to be limited, the death of a US citizen will make it harder for the Obama administration to side-step a diplomatic confrontation with Israel.
So far, the US public and government response has been more muted than those in Europe or the Middle East, with the administration caught between a powerful pro-Israel constituency at home, on the one hand, and growing anger among other allies, on the other.
But the death of a US citizen by violence usually prompts a response from the federal government and politicians.