POLITICS > Turkey won’t accept Israel’s ex gratia payment as compensation in Mavi Marmara case

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Serkan Demirtaş Serkan Demirtaş serkan.demirtas@hdn.com.tr

The reason for the deadlock in compensation talks between Turkey and Israel is the latter’s insistency in redressing the damages of the Mavi Marmara victims as an ex gratia payment and not as a result of its wrongful act, a senior Turkish government official has said.

“In our first meeting [the Israelis] showed no opposition to this. But in the second meeting, they intended to give an ex gratia payment as a form of reparation because they fear compensation [as a result of their wrongful act] will set an example for other cases, which is not a concern to us,” Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç told Ankara bureau chiefs late on July 23. Arınç is leading a Turkish team composed of diplomats and legal experts negotiating the compensation issue with the Israeli government.

Israel formally apologized to Turkey on March 22 over the killing of nine Turkish citizens on board the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara vessel in 2010. It also agreed to redress the damages and loss of life and promised to lift an embargo imposed on the Gaza Strip. However, compensation talks were suspended after the parties held three meetings in April and in May with unconfirmed reports that the primary reason was the disagreement over the amount of money.

“The amount of money is not the problem,” Arınç said. “There are two problematic areas. The first one is that Israel should accept that it’s paying this money as a result of its wrongful act. Nothing less than this will be accepted. And second, we are waiting for them to realize our third condition of cooperating with Turkey in making life conditions easier for Palestinians. We are not talking about the amount of money as our first two conditions have not been met,” he added.

“We are not going to rush for the money. Israel has to accept its wrongful act. Otherwise we will not say ‘yes’ to them,” he said, adding that the amount of money to be given to the families of the victims will be automatically calculated in accordance with criteria.

If an agreement can be reached between Turkey and Israel, it will be brought to Parliament as an international agreement and will have an effect on ongoing cases opened against the Israeli state by the victims’ families. “There cannot be two separate legal attempts to seek compensation. If the governments agree, it will cover [the victims’] demand for compensation as well.”


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7/28/2013 12:56:09 PM

Baris, I anticipated your response. My reference to the "islamist ammo" was not connected to the MM incident. It was meant to justify and validate Israel's position with regards to the Gaza blockade. Israel is surrounded by islamist jihadist terrorist entities which would go to extreme lengths to ensure its demise. The flotilla was circumventing and jeopardising their security. The killing of the humanitarian and slightly "confrontational Turks" aboard was certailnly not planned. Regards


7/26/2013 6:07:47 PM

"MM was the only ship of the flotilla which refused to stop and be boarded". So, they had to be killed? "and drew "first blood"". What was this "first blood" and did the IDF have to kill 9 in response? "with the same force in return". How is it that the same force kills 9 with multiple bullet wounds in one case and none in the other? And, what Islamist ammo, Thessalonian? What weapons were found? The blockade is deemed illegal by the UNHRC and the International Red Cross. There's no excuse.


7/26/2013 3:51:30 PM

Baris, the ill fated MM was the only ship of the flotilla which refused to stop and be boarded. Its "humanitarian" terrorists resisted with fatal force and drew "first blood." Subsequently they were dealt with the same force in return. I am confident Israel will not respond in the same manner in the future should IHH decide to send a new batch of Turkish "humanitarian" terrorists to challenge the legitimacy of the blockade. The only means of preventing Islamist ammo from reaching Hamas. Regards


7/26/2013 3:38:57 PM

@The Anatolian. Thanks for the feedback. Firstly, let us establish the fact that each of us is entitled to a personal opinion. This being the case and in my (non-Turkish) opinion, the Palmer report does indeed have legitimacy. Likewise, the UN is a legitimate entity. Regards

Suhail Shafi

7/26/2013 1:38:40 AM

Three cheers to Turkey for managing to squeeze and apology and compensation offers from the Israelis, which is more than what the Israelis have offered to the Palestinians after six decades of brutal persecution and dispossession.

Sami Soulima

7/25/2013 10:42:43 PM

Turkey is a mess. Armenia hates them, Cyprus hates them, Syria hates them, Egypt hates them, Iran hates them, the Europeans hate them, even the United States treats them like an enemy. The one stupid state that keeps trying to make friends with them, the Israelis, are constantly humiliated by the Turkish government. This is crazy. Erdogan kills his respected secular state and creates a religious mess that is hated by everyone. All this for the love of Gaza's rocket-shooting Jihadists.

ivan mezei

7/25/2013 10:41:28 PM

I dont remember Israel begging for the return of cooperation with Turkey. It was Obama's wish. Wish granted knowing very well where this was going.If Israel would have genuflected with contrition and said their hail marys, Mr. Erdogan would have wanted that they be paraded on the streets in shackles.It is ridiculously obvious where RTE was going with this.It's nice to have the Palestinians fighting against arch enemy Assad.He doesnt want them helping him.He looks great in the eyes of his fans.

Thracian Anatolian

7/25/2013 10:06:44 PM

@Red Tail. One of the four members, Alvaro Uribe as a politician was cozy with Israel. So Israel sent two people, not one. The Palmer commission itself may have legitimacy in its function, i.e. producing a report, as accepted by the governments but the report itself does not since it grossly understates what transpired on Mavi Marmara and is disowned by the Turks.

Bear Klein

7/25/2013 9:39:56 PM

So Israel can not work out reconciliation with people who are devoted anti-Israel fanatics. So Israel can keep the money for better purposes than having the Turkish government pay families of dead devoted pro Hamas anti Israel fanatics. No way to reconcile a peoples devoted hate for another people. I saw the videos of the choir boys who got killed. Any normal person would also have killed them. This was self defense and the choir boys picked the wrong fight.

john albay

7/25/2013 7:34:53 PM

@John Dowdle, please ignore the demented ravings of thessalonian who is a Turk hater and will always try to have his rubbish printed in the TDN! Killing Turkish citizens on the high seas who were unarmed and then hijacking thier ship is what the evil zionist jews are good at,and what you wrote is 100% correct! Thank you for being so kind and supporting Turkey.
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