Photo: EPA
Billboards in Turkey thank Erdogan for Israeli apology
Photo: EPA

Israeli – Turkish reconciliation talks postponed

Hours after families of Marmara fatalities say they will not withdraw lawsuit against IDF, planned meeting in Ankara between Israeli, Turkish put off

Israel may have apologized, but it seems that normalization of relations is still far off. A few hours after the families of Marmara fatalities announced they would not drop their suit even if they receive compensation, it turns out the meeting between the Israeli and Turkish delegations, who were set to discuss several central issues for the return to normalization, will be put off till April 22, at the request of the Turks.


Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç explained that the reason for the postponement was the trip he and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan were to take to the Kyrgyz Republic. “We contacted the Israelis and it was agreed we would postpone the visit (of the Israeli representatives),” he said to reporters after a Turkish cabinet meeting, according to the newspaper, Hurryiet.


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Yossi Ciechanover, Former Foreign Ministry Director General, and national security advisor Major General (ret.) Yaakov Amirdor, head the Israeli team, which had been scheduled to leave for Ankara to meet with the Turks for talks regarding compensation to families of the Marmara fatalities and the suit against IDF soldiers and officers who stopped the flotilla.


On Monday, families of those killed announced that the apology of Israel to Turkey was not enough, and they would not drop the suit. “We will continue to proceed against the Israeli soldiers and officers and we do not agree to end the suit, even if we receive compensation,” swore Musa Kugas, one of those injured on the Marmara.


Based on initial talks, an amount that has yet to be determined will be passed onto the families of the victims, but it is still unclear whether the injured will receive compensation. One of the clauses in the agreement is the cancelation of the lawsuit in Turkey.


Ahmet Varol, a journalist present on the Marmara, said the Turkish were demanding Israel provide a time frame for removal of the blockade in Gaza, and that it allow Ankara to examine the process. “Nobody wants compensation, and although the apology has diplomatic meaning, it carries no meaning for the victims.”


During a Sunday press conference with the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, US Secretary of State John Kerry pleaded with the Turkish leaders to fully renew diplomatic relations with Israel. Kerry said that it was important that Israel and Turkey agree to completion of the reconciliation agreement, but emphasized that the US would not impose a deadline on the two countries to return to normalization.



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פרסום ראשון: 04.09.13, 11:46
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