Mavi Marmara 311.
(photo credit: Stringer Turkey / Reuters)
The highest level Turkish delegation to visit Israel since the Mavi Marmara
incident three years ago is expected in Jerusalem next week to continue
discussions about Israeli compensation to the families of the nine Turks killed
on the ship as it tried to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza.
Turkish media reports, the delegation will be headed by Turkish Foreign Ministry
Undersecretary Feridun Sinirliog ˘lu, a former Turkish ambassador to Israel. He
is expected to meet with National Security Council head Yaakov Amidror and
Amidror and Ciechanover went to Turkey last week to
begin talks on the compensation payments. The two delegations agreed to a
mechanism by which compensation would be calculated, though an actual sum was
not yet discussed.
Compensation payment to the Turks is one of Ankara’s
conditions for normalizing ties with Israel, following Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu’s apology to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in late March
for “any mistakes that might have led to the loss of life or injury.”
Israeli official, when asked about the upcoming round of talks in Israel, said
that Netanyahu’s decision to issue the apology was “not easy” and “complex,” but
was done “in an effort to try and reestablish relations with Turkey. Ultimately,
it is our hope that the Turks will reciprocate in kind.”