Gaza, ALRAY - “Turkey and Israel are the closest they have been to a normalization of bilateral relations since the Mavi Marmara incident,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said Sunday.
Hurriyet Daily News reported on Sunday the FM as saying in a televised interview that “There has recently been a momentum and new approach in compensation talks. We could say that most of the differences have been removed recently in these discussions,”
The FM stressed that there are “positive developments” in compensation talks and that “serious progress has been achieved,” without giving an exact time for a finalization of the process.
Davutoğlu didn’t mention the amount of compensation for the Mavi Marmara victims, confirming that “the difference in amount between what Turkey demanded and Israel offered had narrowed compared to May 2013,”
“These issues will be discussed with the families [of the Mavi Marmara victims] after the outcome [of the compensation talks] is clarified,” he said.
Citing another pre-condition of Ankara for the normalization of ties, Davutoğlu cited an easing of the embargo on Gaza and claimed that compensation talks and subsequent steps would be important to this end, the Turkish outlet said.
Davutoğlu did not give a time frame for the reciprocal appointing of ambassadors, but said Turkey’s representation in Israel would be “significant” in order to “monitor and to coordinate humanitarian aid to Gaza.”
Mavi Marmara is a Turkish vessel that crossed the Mediterranean in October 2009 with the aim of breaking the blockade imposed on Gaza after Hamas assumed power over the enclave in 2007.
Nine Turkish passengers aboard the international Mavi Marmara were killed in a clash with Israeli occupation forces that raided the vessel as it was on its way to Gaza.