Israel wants to host new Turkey talks

Israel wants to host new Turkey talks

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Israel wants to host new Turkey talks

The first round of talks took place in Ankara. The Turkish delegation was led by Undersecretary Sinirlioğlu (R) while PM advisor Amidror (2nd R) led the Israeli side. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

Israel expects to host the next compensation meeting, the first of which was held last week in Ankara, as Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu will contact his counterpart next week to hold a second round of talks, a senior Turkish diplomat told Hürriyet Daily News.

Although not ruling out such a possibility, the diplomat nonetheless noted that the date and the venue for the second meeting had not yet been scheduled, but said that it would not take weeks. According to the conclusion drawn by Turkish officials from legal consultations, the approach of the families of the victims of the Mavi Marmara tragedy, who have declared that they will not drop lawsuits seeking compensation from Israeli soldiers, is unlikely to stall the process of normalization between Israel and Turkey.

No direct transfer

At the end of the compensation talks, Israel will transfer the total amount of compensation to a governmental fund in Turkey. The government will then deliver the compensation to the families. There will be no direct money transfer from the Israeli government to the Mavi Marmara victims’ families.

There are 40 separate compensation cases, and if one or more cases are still not dropped by the families despite the paying of compensation by Israel to the Turkish government, and if the courts eventually charge Israel to pay compensation to the families, this amount set by the courts will be paid through the governmental fund.

However, in addition to these compensation cases, there is also a criminal case at an Istanbul court in which the soldiers involved in the Mavi Marmara raid are being tried in absence. The criminal case will not be dropped even in the case of the payment of compensation. After the eventual agreement on compensation, the judge at this court is expected to be notified of this agreement so he can use his discretion authority to drop the case if he sees fit to do so.

If the judge decides to move on with the trial, then the nature of the compensation deal will be decisive for the situation of the Israeli soldiers.

If the deal is adopted by the Parliament, then this parliamentary approval can surpass the local court’s authority, leading to the dropping of the criminal case, because this approval would apply “statue of law” to the deal. When the government adopts the deal as an international agreement at the Parliament, the text becomes superior to any internal arrangement.

Yet, when asked if any deal between Turkey and Israel would be adopted by the Cabinet or by the Parliament, Turkish officials declined to give a clear answer, at least for the moment. The Turkish government would decide the method of approval, a senior Turkish diplomat said.