Dr. Jacqueline Casale Taylor Basker

Ibrahim Bilgen, 61

The oldest volunteer on the Mavi Marmara was Ibrahim Bilgin.  Born on March 2, 1949 he lived in Siirt, a city in Southeast Anatolia.  He wanted to donate his services to Gaza to help them obtain materials they needed to rebuild after the Israeli bombing of Gaza in 2008-9.  He joined the Gaza-bound humanitarian aid flotilla as an individual, not as a member of any group.  Immensely popular, he had been a candidate for mayor in the 2009 elections in his hometown.

He wanted to share his expertise as an electrician and plumber to those who did not have electricity and water in Gaza. He wrote on his application that he wanted to provide “Humanitarian Aid.”  This was in harmony with his normal life, where he provided free electrical and pluming services to those who could not afford them, telling them “just their prayers would suffice.”

Bilgim was shot four times.  His autopsy discovered a tiny bag containing pellets, still intact in his brain, which the report said was fired from a hunting rifle that was not a type of weapon the doctors had ever heard of. Three bullet wounds were also found in Bilgen's chest, back and hip.