Gaza flotilla victim sues Turkey, demands compensation
Zeki Kaya from the western province of Denizli sued Turkey after Israel paid compensation to the victims as part of a deal, daily Karar reported on Oct. 2.
Diplomatic relations between Turkey and Israel were suspended in 2010 after Israeli forces raided a convoy of aid ships, headed by the Mavi Marmara, attempted to break the blockade on Gaza, killing 10 Turkish activists.
Ankara and Tel Aviv signed a deal to normalize ties on June 28, 2016 after six years of strained relations. Israel’s security cabinet approved the deal one day later.
Turkey had put forward three conditions to normalize relations. The first clause, an apology, was realized in 2013 when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The second clause was having Israel pay compensation to the families of the Mavi Marmara victims, which was achieved with the deal, in which Israel agreed to pay $20 million in compensation to the families. The third clause was a partial lifting of the blockade on Gaza, in which Turkey got permission to send aid material via Israel’s Ashdod Port.
With the deal, Turkey became the only country that hundreds of victims, excluding the families of those killed, can file complaints against. Turkey thus became the legal adversary in the cases filed against Israel.
The complaint filed by Kaya, who was beaten and allegedly tortured by Israeli soldiers and kept in detention for three days during the raid, presents a first in terms of a victim suing his own country directly in the case.
Israeli soldiers also seized his laptop, cell phone, $1,500, 2,000 euros and 2,000 liras, which he never got back.
After the incident, Kaya suffered from severe depression and his lawyer, Abdullah Sığınç, thus filed a complaint demanding 10,000 liras in material and 250,000 liras in spiritual damages.
“I believe you will be just in order to ease the pains of the historic Mavi Marmara incident victims,” the court petition cited Kaya as saying.
Karar reported that victims’ lawyers indicated that Turkey faces the paying of compensation worth more than Israel was due to pay as a result of the agreement making Turkey the addressee for hundreds of victims.
There are currently 36 cases demanding compensation, worth a total of 16 million liras, the lawyers stated.