Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Wednesday signed a landmark compensation deal with Israel in an attempt to mend fences between the two countries.
Diplomatic ties between Turkey and Israel were disrupted when on May 30, 2010 Israeli commandos killed 9 Turkish activists on the Mavi Marmara, which was headed for Gaza to deliver humanitarian aid. A tenth activist died after a four-year coma caused by being shot in the raid.
According to a statement issued by the presidency, Erdoğan approved "the procedural agreement about compensation between the Republic of Turkey and Israeli State."
In line with the deal, Israel would pay $20 million compensation to the families of the victims of a 2010 Israeli raid on the Mavi Marmara, a Gaza-bound aid ship.
The sum will be transferred in a one-time deposit to a bank account opened by Turkey and shared through diplomatic channels, and the transaction will be completed within 25 business days after the bilateral agreement comes into force.
After the transfer, distribution and delivery of the sum will be handled by Turkey, with Israel playing no role.
The agreement will come into force when both sides notify each other through diplomatic channels that the internal legal procedures have been fulfilled.
In addition to the compensation, Israel has agreed to Turkey’s humanitarian presence in the occupied Gaza Strip.
Normalisation of ties
In the aftermath of the attack, Turkey withdrew its then ambassador in Tel Aviv, and demanded an official apology from Israel, compensation for the families of those killed and the lifting of Israel’s Gaza blockade.
In 2013, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced regret over the incident to Turkey’s then-prime minister (now president), Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim announced in August that Turkey's key conditions for normalisation of ties with Israel had been met and the two countries had reached a compromise.
The deal with Israel was later approved by the Turkish Parliament on August 20.