Turkey, Israel to ink agreement on normalization of relations
Baku, Azerbaijan, June 27
Turkey and Israel will sign an agreement June 28 on normalization of relations, the TRT Haber news channel quoted Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim as saying June 27.
He noted that the agreement will enter into force after the approval by Turkey’s parliament and Israel’s Cabinet of Ministers.
Relations between Israel and Turkey deteriorated after the Freedom Flotilla incident in 2010, when a convoy of six ships, including one under Turkey's flag, tried to approach the Gaza Strip with humanitarian aid and activists on board. The flotilla was blocked and stormed by Israeli forces, with eight Turkish citizens being killed.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Israel should apologize for the Freedom Flotilla incident, pay compensation to the families of those killed and end the blockade of the Gaza Strip.
“Earlier, Israel apologized to Turkey for the incident,” said Yildirim. “In accordance with the agreement, Israeli government will pay $20 million worth compensation to the families of those killed as a result of the Freedom Flotilla incident and will give a permission for delivering humanitarian aid from Turkey to Gaza Strip which is under the Israeli blockade.
“We will send 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid from the port of Mersin on July 1,” he added.
Turkey’s prime minister noted that once the agreement enters into force, the country will appoint its ambassador to Israel in a short time.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for his part, has said that the agreement will have a great impact on the country’s economy, RIA Novosti reported. In particular, Israeli authorities intend to start gas supply to Europe through Turkey, he added.