Israel pays $20 mln compensation to Turkey for flotilla raid
ANKARAThe Israeli government on Sept. 30 paid $20 million in compensation to Turkey over the Mavi Marmara flotilla raid in 2010, which led to the suspension of diplomatic ties between the two countries before a reconciliation deal was reached earlier this year, private broadcaster CNN Türk has reported.
The amount was paid to the bank account of the Turkish Justice Ministry, the broadcaster said.
In May 2010, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) stormed the Mavi Marmara, part of the Gaza-bound “Gaza Freedom Flotilla,” which was trying to break the Israeli blockade on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Ten Turkish activists were killed in the raid.
Under the reconciliation deal with Ankara announced in June after six years of strained relations, Tel-Aviv had accepted to pay compensation to the families of the Mavi Marmara victims, which was one of the three conditions put forward by Turkey for normalization.
After months of talks, the agreement was simultaneously announced by the Turkish and Israeli prime ministers in separate press conferences in Ankara and Rome on June 27 and signed by high-level Foreign Ministry officials from both countries one day later.
Meanwhile, a senior Turkish official said on Sept. 30 that Ankara could announce the name of the ambassador to be appointed to Israel in “one week or 10 days.”
Turkey and Israel would simultaneously announce the appointment of ambassadors, said the official, who wanted to remain anonymous.
Ambassador Kemal Ökem, an advisor to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, was cited as a possible candidate, however another official noted a final decision between two or three candidates has not yet been made.
In addition, Feridun Sinirlioğlu, undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry, represented Turkey at the funeral ceremony of former Israeli Prime Minister and President Shimon Peres.
The body of Peres was laid to rest in Jerusalem on Sept. 30 in a funeral attended by world leaders.