Mavi Marmara death toll rises to 10

Turkish activist aboard the Gaza Flotilla in 2010 died after a four-year coma caused by being shot by Israeli soldiers.

    Mavi Marmara death toll rises to 10
    Many aboard Gaza Flotilla were killed, injured or imprisoned after interception by Israeli military [GALLO/GETTY]

    A Turkish activist who was critically injured in the 2010 Gaza flotilla incident has died.

    Ugur Suleyman Soylemez, 51, had spent four years in a coma after being shot by Israeli soldiers onboard the Mavi Marmara ship.

    He died on friday evening in hospital.

    Soylemez was a passenger on the ‘Freedom Flotilla’ carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza in May 2010. He was one of dozens shot and wounded by Israeli soldiers as they boarded the Mavi Marmara, the lead ship in a flotilla of six.

    Nine other activists were killed in the assault.

    The incident triggered an international outcry and a severe diplomatic crisis between Turkey and Israel.

    Deteriorating health

    Following an initial eight months in hospital, he was sent home and cared for by his family while he remained in a coma.

    One month ago his health deteriorated further, and he was transferred back to hospital.

    Turkey withdrew diplomatic relations in the wake of the attack. Two months ago Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent announced that the two countries were close to reaching a settlement on the matter.

    However, the families of those killed have said they will reject any deal unless Israel lifts the blockade of Gaza.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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