Turkey's PM Erdogan: Ankara to renew ties with Israel in "days, weeks"
Israeli defense forces killed nine Turkish civilians aboard the flotilla bound for Gaza with aid supplies in 2010 (File Archive/AFP)
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Reuters reported Tuesday that Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is ready to quickly normalize relations with Israel after a compensation agreement for the victims' families over the 2010 Gaza Flotilla Raid was reached earlier this year.
Speaking on U.S. television, Erdogan told reporters that "We have come to an agreement [with Israel]... with respect to compensation. And with respect to sending humanitarian aid to the people in Palestine through Turkey... is the other step of the negotiations, and with the completion of that phase we can move towards a process of normalization.
Israeli forces previously boarded and raided a Turkish civilian flotilla delivering aid supplies to Gaza in 2010, killing nine Turkish nationals in the process. The attack, which was in international waters, led to a diplomatic crisis between the two countries with both Ankara and Tel Aviv severing diplomatic relations following the incident.
Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu only officially apologized for the deaths in March 2013, after U.S. President Barack Obama coordinated a call between Netanyahu and Erdogan.
Over the past year, Turkey and Israeli authorities have been in the process of negotiating compensation for the victims' families. Both sides have confirmed that significant progress has been made in this process, and Erdogan confirmed that the normalization of relations would be implemented in the near future.
"[The first step] would no doubt be taken by the sending of ambassadors...I think we're talking about days, weeks," he said.
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