Turkish prosecutor flotilla case against Israel ended
ISTANBULThe prosecutor in the Mavi Marmara case demanded its dismissal on Dec. 2, citing a reconciliation deal signed between Turkey and Israel, one day after Israel’s new ambassador to Ankara, Eitan Na’eh, arrived in the Turkish capital to take up his post.
During the hearing over the flotilla raid, the Istanbul 7th Court of Serious Crimes noted that the Turkish-language document of the procedural agreement on compensation between Turkey and Israel for the 2010 incident had just arrived at the court, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Accordingly, the prosecutor demanded that the case be dismissed pursuant to the agreement.
An upper court decision to reject a demand for a recusal by the defendant lawyers previously arrived at the court.
The indictment prepared by the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office sought nine aggravated life sentences for then-Israeli Chief of Staff Rau Aluf Gabriel Ashkenazi, naval forces commander Elizer Alfred Marom, intelligence head Amos Yadlin and air force commander Avishay Levi, on charges of instigating homicide, as well as up to a total of 18,032 years in prison for each of the four suspects on charges of instigating damage to property, instigating plunder, instigating torture, instigating prevention of communication, instigating deprivation of liberty and instigating armed injury. Other charges included perpetrating damage to property, robbery, torture, blocking communication and deprivation of freedom.
Turkey-Israel relations came to breaking point after Israeli marines stormed the Mavi Marmara flotilla, which was aiming to break a naval blockade on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip in May 2010, killing 10 Turkish activists on board.
After six years, Israel apologized for the raid, paying out $20 million to the bereaved and injured as a part of the rapprochement deal signed between the two countries on June 28.
While Na’eh arrived in the Turkish capital to take up his post on Dec. 1, Turkey’s new envoy to Tel Aviv, Kemal Ökem, is expected to start work on Dec. 12, a diplomatic official said Dec. 2, Anadolu Agency reported.
Na’eh served at the Israeli Embassy in Ankara in the 1990s and returned to Turkey after three years as deputy ambassador in London.
Ökem, previously the chief foreign policy adviser to Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, will assume his duties after presenting his credentials to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, the official said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
Before working for Yıldırım, Ökem advised former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. He also worked for the Foreign Ministry’s Middle East directorate.