Compensation paid to families of Mavi Marmara victims: Minister
ANKARAThe Turkish government has delivered the necessary compensation to the families of the victims of Israel’s 2010 raid on the Mavi Marmara flotilla, Finance Minister Naci Ağbal said on June 23, after controversy over delayed payments.
“Compensation payments have been made to the families of citizens who lost their lives in the attack on the Mavi Marmara ship,” state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Ağbal as saying.
The government-friendly Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (İHH) group, which had been involved in the organization of the Gaza-bound flotilla, criticizing the government for not paying compensation amounting to $20 million. The money had been provided by Israel over the killing of Turkish activists onboard the Mavi Marmara ship in May 2010.
On June 9, the Finance Ministry said it would make the payment quickly after discussion with the families to take place soon, in response to claims from the İHH that the government was refusing to pay the money to the victims.
The ministry claimed that the government was trying to seek consensus with the families on the amount of compensation because they all demanded varying amounts of money.
In a case opened by the unpaid families of the Mavi Marmara victims, the Finance Ministry had previously sent a statement to the court in which it “rejected the exorbitant amount of material and moral compensation asked by the plaintiff.”
Diplomatic ties between Turkey and Israel collapsed in May 2010 when Israeli commandos killed 10 Turkish activists on the Mavi Marmara, which was headed for Gaza in a bid to break the Israeli blockade.
In the aftermath of the May 2010 incident on the Mavi Marmara, Turkey demanded an official apology from Israel, compensation for the families of those killed, and the lifting of the blockade. The Turkish Parliament later approved a deal that involved Tel Aviv paying $20 million to the families of the victims as part of a normalization agreement between Turkey and Israel after a six-year hiatus in ties. Israel subsequently delivered the money to the Ankara.