اجعلنا صفحة البداية RSS خدمة Add to favorite Facebook Twitter

Advanced

Turkey says Israel deal close over Gaza flotilla deaths
Published Thursday 27/03/2014 (updated) 29/03/2014 15:29
Font- Font+
An undated image taken from the Free Gaza Movement website
on May 28, 2010 of the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara taking part
in the Freedom Flotilla headed to the Gaza Strip
(Free Gaza Movement/AFP)
KONYA, Turkey (AFP) -- Turkey hopes to soon close a difficult chapter with Israel sparked by a deadly commando raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla of aid ships in 2010, Turkish foreign minister told AFP.

Nine pro-Palestinian Turkish activists were killed in the Israeli assault, sparking a major crisis between the long-time regional allies and compensation claims from the victims' families.

In the diplomatic tussle since, "the gap between the expectations of the two sides is closing," Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told AFP in an interview on Wednesday.

"Progress has been made to a great extent, but the two sides need to meet again for a final agreement," he said.

Sticking points have been the amount of compensation and the legal status of the deal, but Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said earlier this week that an agreement would soon be signed.

He said that after Turkish local elections Sunday -- seen as a major electoral test for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan -- "our first job will be making sure the compensation is bound by a legal document."

Davutoglu also said that "an answer is expected from the Israeli side" to Turkey's demands. "It is our preference, whether it will be before or after the elections ... We do whatever is right at the right time."

Turkish senior diplomat Feridun Sinirlioglu was in Israel in February to discuss the terms of an agreement, aimed to normalize relations between Israel and its once closest Muslim ally.

The May 2010 Israeli assault on the Turkish ship the Mavi Marmara in international waters en route to Gaza sparked widespread condemnation and provoked a major diplomatic crisis between the two countries.

Ankara expelled the Israeli ambassador, demanded a formal apology and compensation, and an end to the blockade on the Gaza Strip.

Talks on compensation began a year ago after Israel extended a formal apology to Turkey in a breakthrough brokered by US President Barack Obama.

In February, Erdogan said there would be no agreement without a written commitment by Israel to lift its restrictions on the Gaza Strip, a comment that led Israel to accuse him of blocking a compensation deal.

Turkey's foreign minister declined to comment on whether new ambassadors would likely be appointed as soon as an agreement is signed.

"What's important is to reach an agreement," Davutoglu said, speaking in his central home province of Konya. "The steps to be taken will be discussed when the agreement is made.

"I can say there's a positive momentum and a process in a positive direction."
Print
1 ) Dina / US
27/03/2014 17:54
Shame on Turkey for allowing Israel kill it's citizens and pay for the pleasure. Disgusting! your government hasn't even got the balls to Israel and you call yourself a regional power? Turkey is nothing but a regional Israeli slave.

2 ) Tom / Uk
27/03/2014 18:27
Oh boy a price for Turkish lives. What is the Turkish gov thinking

3 ) Mel / USA
27/03/2014 19:45
What a total load of diplo-wasta BS,Davutoglu! You sell your Turkish,and OUR American(dual)citizens so cheaply. What deal could Turkey POSSIBLY have,with the most-definately ABNORMAL,'relations' with sociopathic Zionist-led Israel,that wouldn't SHAME Turkey more? Maybe it's the 'bond'?The Turkey/Armenian &Israel/Palestinian similarity?"Deal",must be code for 'watch each others backs' on the human-rights abuses front,&more license to Israel's exceptionalist contempt for"legal"obligations.

4 ) @ Dina-1 / US too
27/03/2014 22:27
- Israel didn't compensate the families of killed Egyptians, Jordanian, or Syrian soldiers, that attacked Israel in 1948, 1967, and 1973, and - Israel should Not now agree to pay compensation to the families of Turkish "activists"/warriors, that attacked Israel's boarding party first !!

5 ) Claire / US
28/03/2014 12:03
4 get your facts right the IDF militants boarded the boat with weapons to kill and that's exactly what they did.
Name Country
Comment
Characters
Note: Comments will be reviewed for appropriate content. Click here for more details.

Share/Bookmark

Wounded Gazans struggle to find treatment after war
Egypt slams Israel plan to seize Palestinian land
US urges Israel to reverse Palestinian land-grab plan

Close Next Previous
All Rights Reserved © Ma'an News Agency 2005 - 2014