Large billboards were put up by the Ankara municipality on Monday to thank Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan following Israel's apology for the deadly 2010 raid on a Gaza-bound ship.
"Israel apologized to Turkey. Dear prime minister, we are grateful that you let our country experience this pride," the billboards read.
Israel and Turkey
began talks Monday on compensation for the families of victims of the raid, for which the Jewish
state apologized last week, ending a near three-year diplomatic rift.
"Officials delegated by the two sides will work on the compensation issue. We gave the kickstart for it today," Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc told reporters after a weekly cabinet meeting.
Ties between Israel
and Turkey plummeted in May 2010 when Israeli commandos staged a pre-dawn raid
on a six-ship flotilla to the Gaza Strip, killing nine Turkish nationals.
The assault triggered an international outcry and a bitter diplomatic crisis between Turkey and Israel, with Ankara demanding a formal apology and compensation for the families of the victims.
'We are grateful. Billboard in Ankara (Photo: EPA)
Until last week, Israel had refused. But on Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
apologized to Turkey for the raid - a breakthrough brokered by US President Barack Obama
during his visit to the Jewish state.
"This is a big success of Turkish foreign policy," Arinc said.
He said that Turkey's foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, "held talks with the other party and expressed the necessity to swiftly solve the issue."
In remarks over the weekend, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
said the country's future diplomatic relationship with Israel - including the appointment of a new ambassador to Israel - would depend on the Jewish state.
AFP, Reuters contributed to the report
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