ANKARA - Turkey puts four former Israeli military commanders, including the head of the army, on trial in absentia this week for the 2010 killing of nine Turks on a Gaza-bound aid ship.

The trial, which begins in Istanbul on Tuesday, will further test relations between the one-time strategic allies and has been dismissed by Israel as a "show trial" and "political theater".

Relations between the Jewish state and what was once its only Muslim ally, crumbled after Israeli marines stormed the Mavi Marmara aid ship in May 2010 to enforce a naval blockade of the Palestinian-run Gaza Strip and killed nine Turks in clashes with activists on board.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger