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Photo: Mark Israel Salem, Reuters
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Photo: Mark Israel Salem, Reuters
Turkey: Israel transferred $20 million as part of reconciliation deal
Reports in the Turkish press claim that in accordance to the reconciliation agreement signed in June by Israel and Turkey, Israel has transferred $20 million dollars, which will go toward aiding the families of the Turkish activists who were killed during the Marmara flotilla raid in 2010.

Turkish media reported Friday that Israel has transferred $20 million as part of the reconciliation deal involving the Marmara flotilla incident, where nine Turkish citizens were killed after those on board the Marmara attacked IDF soldiers who commandeered the vessel as it attempted to break Israel’s maritime blockade on Gaza.

 

 

    As part of an effort to normalize relations between the two countries, news outlet CNN Türk reported that officials from the Turkish Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed that the money has been transferred to the Justice Ministry’s bank account in the capital of Ankara. The funds will be used as humanitarian aid for the families of the Turkish citizens who were killed aboard the Marmara.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Photos: AP, Kobi Gideon GPO) (Photo: AP, Kobi Gideon/GPO)
    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Photos: AP, Kobi Gideon GPO)

     

    The agreement between the two countries was signed last June in Italy. After vowing not to apologize for the IDF’s course of action, Netanyahu eventually acquiesced and “expressed an apology” to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2013.

     

    Stills from the IDF Navy takeover of the Marmara flotilla (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit) (Photo: IDF Spokesperson)
    Stills from the IDF Navy takeover of the Marmara flotilla (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

    Activists aboard the Marmara attacking IDF soldiers (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit) (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
    Activists aboard the Marmara attacking IDF soldiers (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

     

    In response to the apology and transfer of funds, Turkey and Israel are to resume full diplomatic relations, including reinstating ambassadors, a commitment not to work against each other’s interests in the international sphere and security and intelligence cooperation. Another signing of the diplomatic thaw between both countries was seen during the funeral of recently departed former president Shimon Peres, which was attended by Turkish Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs, Feridun Sinirlioglu, who played a key role in the reconciliation agreement negotiations.

     

    The back story to the reconciliation deal spans over a decade of animosity and mutual accusations. After Israel sealed off the Gaza Port due to concerns that incoming ships would be providing the Palestinians with weapons, in 2010 the Maramara flotilla set out from Turkey toward Gaza, with the expressed purpose of providing Palestinians with humanitarian aid. When the flotilla did not heed the call of the IDF Navy to halt, troops from the special operations naval unit Shayetet 13 were sent to take it over. Several of the activists aboard the Marmara responded to the takeover by attacking the IDF soldiers with weapons. The soldiers then opened fire on the activists, killing nine and injuring 20.

     

    A UN report from 2011 found that Israel was largely not to blame for the incident, and put a great deal of responsibility on Turkey. This brought on further criticism from Turkey, with heated retorts on both sides and eventually to the minimization of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

     


    פרסום ראשון: 10.01.16, 13:32
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