Compensation talks between Turkey and Israel almost finalized

Compensation talks between Turkey and Israel almost finalized

ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
Compensation talks between Turkey and Israel almost finalized

DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah Gürel

The compensation talks for the Mavi Marmara raid victims between Turkey and Israel have been “almost finalized” at a meeting between delegations of the two countries in Istanbul last week, a diplomatic source told the Hürriyet Daily News.

The vast majority of the text for compensation agreement is settled, merely the space for the amount of compensation is empty, said the diplomat indicating that parties also agreed on wording of the text, particularly on the definition of compensation.

After the approval of the agreement in the two capitals, Jerusalem and Ankara will immediately announce an upgrading of relations and the exchange of ambassadors, said the diplomat.

An Israeli delegation headed by National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s envoy to the reconciliation talks with Turkey, Joseph Ciechanover, and acting Foreign Ministry Director General Nissim Ben-Sheetrit met with Undersecretary of Foreign Ministry Feridun Sinirlioğlu last week.

Both sides refrain from mentioning the exact amount of money to be paid to the families of the Mavi Marmara victims, but an agreement outlining principles and parameters was reached in earlier round of talks.

Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç mentioned earlier that Israel’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. Yet, the deadlock seems to be reconciled.

Israel’s daily Haaretz suggested on Dec. 23 that Turkey is being more flexible over compensation amounts. There are still differences regarding the amounts, but they have narrowed,” the daily quoted a senior Israeli official, adding that Israeli prime minister is weighing the new Turkish offer.

Turkey and Israel launched compensation talks for the Mavi Marmara victims after Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu issued an apology to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his navy’s raid on the Mavi Marmara aid flotilla in 2010, which killed nine Turks.