mavi marmara passengers 311.
(photo credit: IDF Spokesperson)
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister on Monday said Turkey has entered into talks with Israel regarding compensation for the families of the victims of the deadly 2010 Gaza flotilla raid, AFP reported.
"Officials delegated by the two sides will work on the compensation issue. We gave the kick-start for it today," AFP quoted Bulent Arinc as telling reporters after a weekly cabinet meeting.
"This is a big success of Turkish foreign policy," Arinc said.
He added that Turkey's foreign minister "held talks with the other party and expressed the necessity to swiftly solve the issue," AFP quoted the deputy prime minister as saying.
In a dramatic development that occurred just as US President Barack Obama was leaving the country, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke with Turkey's Tayyip Erdogan
for the first time since the Israeli prime minister took power in 2009.
Netanyahu voiced regret for the loss of life in the 2010 Mavi Marmara
incident, apologizing for any mistakes that led to the death of nine Turkish activists. Breaking a three-year deadlock, the two agreed to normalize relations.
"Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed an apology to the Turkish people for any error that may have led to the loss of life, and agreed to complete the agreement for compensation," the statement said.
In light of the Israeli investigation of the incident, there were found to be a number of operational mistakes, and Netanyahu apologized to the Turkish people for any mistake that could lead to the loss of life, and agreed to pay compensation.
Voicing until now only "regret" over the Mavi Marmara incident, Israel has offered to pay into what it called a "humanitarian fund" through which casualties and their relatives could be compensated.Herb Keinon contributed to this report.