Compensation deal on flotilla to be signed by Israel, Turkey

Israel and Turkey could sign a compensation deal over the Mavi Marmara incident as early as next month, according to Turkey’s deputy prime minister.

Bulent Arinc told the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News that last month Israel delivered the final reconciliation text, with a monetary figure. He said the Turkish government would re-evaluate the document following March 30 local elections and turn it into an official agreement to be submitted to the two countries for approval.

After the agreement is signed, Israel and Turkey can resume normalized relations, with the countries exchanging diplomats, Arinc told Hurriyet.

Turkey downgraded diplomatic ties with Israel and then expelled Israel’s ambassador after the 2010 flotilla incident, in which nine Turkish nationals were killed in clashes with Israeli troops who were trying to stop the Mavi Marmara from breaking Israel’s blockade of Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan last March, after which representatives of the countries met for reconciliation talks. — jta