Turkey refuses to accept Israel's ex gratia compensation payment

After officials from both sides met three times, Ankara blames J'lem for the stalemate in Marmara talks.

Mavi Marmara 311 (photo credit: Stringer Turkey / Reuters)
Mavi Marmara 311
(photo credit: Stringer Turkey / Reuters)
Turkey is unwilling to accept Israel's compensation for the Mavi Marmara raid, saying Jerusalem views it as an ex gratia payment and not as a result of a wrongful act, Turkish daily Hürriyet reported on Wednesday.
“In our first meeting [the Israelis] showed no opposition to this. But in the second meeting, they intended to give an ex gratia payment as a form of reparation because they fear compensation [as a result of their wrongful act] will set an example for other cases,” Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said, according to Hürriyet.
Reconciliation talks between Turkey and Israel have reached a stalemate after only three meetings in April and in May.
Previous reports said the deadlock in talks was a result of disagreements over the amount of money Israel would pay in compensation to the families of the nine Turks that were killed aboard the Gaza flotilla.
Arinc insisted the amount of money was not the contested issue, but rather Israel's acknowledgement of the incident as a wrongful act. He added that talks about the amount of money cannot take place before Turkey's other two conditions - for Israel to acknowledge the loss of lives in the raid, and to lift its blockade on Gaza - are met.
Israel's National Security Adviser Ya'akov Amidror, who heads the Israeli delegation to Turkey for the reconciliation talks, said that Israel did not commit to ending its Gaza blockade as part of reconciliation with Turkey.
"If there is quiet, the processes easing the lives of Gazan residents will continue. And if there is Katyusha (rocket) fire, then these moves will be slowed and even stopped and, if necessary, even reversed," Amidror told Army Radio in March.
"We do not intend to give up on our right to respond to what happens in Gaza because of the agreement with the Turks," he added.
In November, Turkey put on trial in absentia former chief of general staff Lt.-Gen (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi, former OC Navy V.-Adm. (res.) Eliezer Marom, former military intelligence head Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin and former Air Force intelligence chief Brig.-Gen. (res.) Avishai Levy.
Israel dismissed the trials as a “political show," and insists that its apology for the Mavi Marmara incident and the compensation payments will put an end in Turkey to all legal proceedings against IDF soldiers or officers.
Herb Keinon and Reuters contributed to this report.