Middle East

Israel, Turkey officials to discuss compensation next week

Aid ship leaves Istanbul bound for the Gaza Strip before the Israeli attack. REUTERS

ANKARA: Officials from Turkey and Israel will meet next week for talks on compensation for the families of victims of a deadly 2010 flotilla raid for which the Jewish state apologised last week, the deputy prime minister said Friday.

"A delegation from Israel will travel to Turkey next week to work out the compensation issue," Bulent Arinc said in televised remarks.

Ties between Israel and Turkey plummeted in May 2010 when Israeli commandos staged a botched pre-dawn raid on a six-ship flotilla to the Gaza Strip, killing nine Turkish nationals.

The assault triggered an international outcry and severely damaged relations between regional allies Turkey and Israel, with Ankara demanding a formal apology and compensation for the families of the victims.

Arinc declined to say how much compensation would be paid out by Israel, adding the exact amount would be clarified after talks with the lawyers of victims' families.

Until last week, Israel had refused to apologise for the raid and had instead expressed regret for the deaths.

But last Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologised to Turkey, a breakthrough brokered by US President Barak Obama during his visit to Israel.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accepted the apology "in the name of the Turkish people" but said the country's future relationship with Israel would depend on the Jewish state.





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