Ankara-Israel compensation deal for 2010 Gaza raid victims announced ahead of Sunday's election in Turkey
Ankara announced Tuesday that Israel will finally compensate the families of the Turkish activists who were killed four years ago by IDF soldiers during the 2010 Gaza flotilla raid, according to Agence France Presse Tuesday.
"We have received a final agreement document from Israel," Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc was quoted as saying by Hurriyet newspaper's website.
In an attempt to deliver aid supplies to the people of the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip, Turkish activists aboard the ship Mavi Marmara were killed by IDF soldiers who boarded the boat while it was in international waters, sparking unprecedented tensions between the former allied countries.
Talks about the compensation for the victims of the raid began in March 2013 after Israel finally issued a formal apology to Ankara over the raid deaths. However, the amount of the compensation has allegedly been the main "sticking point" between the two countries.
According to Haaretz, Israel offered $20 million in compensation to the families, slightly less than what Ankara asked for.
The announcement of the deal comes ahead of Turkey's local elections Sunday in what is now developing into a "testing ground" of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's popularity among the country following corruption allegations that have been growing since mid-December.