Israel-Turkey deal likely to be finalized when PM returns from Japan

Four years after Israeli commandos boarded the Mavi Marmara, Israel will reportedly pay $21 million in compensation to victims' families.

By
May 11, 2014 23:29
2 minute read.
P.10 11 JFR 370

Le Mavi Marmara, symbole d'une relation israélo-turque dégradée. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Israel and Turkey are likely to normalize relations soon after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu returns from Japan on Friday, a senior Israeli diplomatic official said Sunday.

“We are waiting for the prime minister to return and finalize the deal,” the official said, confirming – finally – a steady drumbeat of stories from Turkey over the last few months saying that a deal was imminent that would put an end to the Mavi Marmara saga.

If, indeed, Netanyahu approves the deal, it will come some four years after Israeli commandos boarded the Turkish ship trying to break the blockade of Gaza on May 30, 2010, and – after facing heavy resistance and coming under attack on board the ship – killed nine Turks.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said last week that talks between the two countries had reached “a certain level” and that “problems have been substantially overcome.”

“Our colleagues are continuing the talks. I’d like to underline that we have seen positive developments,” he said in a press conference.

According to a story last week in Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News, Davutoglu mentioned Turkey’s previous preconditions for normalization of relations, including an apology for the incident, compensation payments to the families of the victims and “lifting restrictions on the whole of Palestine, including Gaza.”

“The apology has been received, and the compensation talks have reached a certain level,” he said.

Netanyahu apologized to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan over a year ago for “operational errors” aboard the ship that may have led to a loss of life.


Israel has made clear it did not intend to lift the blockade of Gaza to reestablish normal ties with Turkey, but the sides have been discussing allowing Turkish aid to enter Gaza.

Erdogan said in a PBS interview some two weeks ago that a deal could be reached in a matter of days or weeks.

According to media reports, but not officially confirmed, the two sides have agreed that Israel would pay some $21 million to the families of the victims. This money would not be paid directly to the families, but rather deposited in a fund that would later be distributed among them.

Turkey, as part of the deal, is to pass legislation ending current or future legal proceedings against IDF commanders and officers.

Once the deal is signed, the countries are expected to immediately exchange ambassadors.

The senior Israeli diplomatic official could not say which particular issue was currently awaiting Netanyahu’s final signature.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN