Israel, Turkey reach payoff draft

Israel, Turkey reach payoff draft

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Israel, Turkey reach payoff draft

Israeli PM Netanyahu has phoned PM Erdoğan for raid apology. AFP photo

Turkey and Israel have come “close” to reaching a deal on compensation for victims of a deadly Israeli raid in 2010 on a Gaza-bound flotilla after talks in Jerusalem on May 6.

“The delegations have agreed on a draft text. But there are still some elements to be clarified,” a Turkish Foreign Ministry official told Hürriyet Daily News yesterday, declining to reveal details of clarifications.

The second meeting, which took place in Jerusalem and lasted six and a half hours, was “positive and constructive,” the official said. There might not be a need for a third meeting, after the needed clarifications, he added. The Turkish delegation was headed by Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu, while the Israeli negotiating team was led by National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s special envoy Joseph Ciechanover.

Following the first round of talks in April, Turkey said “initial parameters” were set and a framework was established, but the amount of compensation was still to be discussed.

Israel will pay compensation not just for those killed, but also for wounded Turks.

The agreement will be adopted by the Turkish Parliament, so that parliamentary approval can surpass the local court’s authority over a criminal case at an Istanbul court in which the soldiers involved in the Mavi Marmara raid are being tried in absence.

Israel and Turkey are working to mend ties that were ruptured after the 2010 raid killing eight Turkish nationals and one Turkish-American when Israeli commandos stormed an aid ship that was trying to break the embargo with a ship bound for the Gaza Strip. Israel maintains a blockade on the territory.