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'Turkey warns Israel against dirty bargaining'
April 15, 2013 10:50
Turkish diplomat tells 'Hurriyet' discussions with Israel on compensating families of flotilla victims won't be a negotiation.
'Mavi Marmara' under maintenance in Istanbul.

mavi marmara flotilla_311 reuters. (photo credit:Osman Orsal / Reuters)

Turkish officials are warning Israel that they should prepare to pay substantial compensation to the families of victims who were killed on the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla, and should avoid "horse trading or dirty bargaining," Turkish Hurriyet Daily News reported Monday.

An anonymous Turkish diplomat told Hurriyet that "Israel should perfectly know that this is not a process of bargaining. Compensation talks should not be turned into horse trading or dirty bargaining." The source added that he hoped the issue would be solved in coming weeks.

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“We want to close this issue in one session. Discussing human life for money is not a pleasant thing. This should be concluded in a most appropriate way,” the source reportedly said.

According to the Turkish paper, unconfirmed reports have stated that Israel is willing to pay $100,000 per victim, however Turkish officials say that "it should be a substantial amount," although they have not stated an exact figure.

Last month, US President Barack Obama brokered a first step in reconciliation between the two former allies when Israel apologized for the killing of nine Turks in 2010 when it raided the Gaza bound ship the Mavi Marmara.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan had planned on visiting the Gaza Strip in April, but has postponed his trip to the end of May, after he visits with president Obama in Washington. He will travel to Washington to meet with the president May 16.

Reuters and Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.

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