Minister: Compensation from Israel paid to Mavi Marmara victims

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The Turkish ship Mavi Marmara taking part in the "Freedom Flotilla" heads towards the Gaza Strip on May 28, 2010. Ten people died on May 31, 2010 when Israeli forces stormed the boat carrying pro-Palestinian activists bound for Gaza. AFP PHOTO

Turkey’s Finance Minister Naci Ağbal has announced that compensation paid by Israel to Turkey last year for victims of the Mavi Marmara flotilla has been distributed to the victims and victims’ families.

In 2016, Israel deposited $20 million in the account of the Turkish Ministry of Justice as compensation for victims of the Mavi Marmara flotilla, part of a reconciliation agreement between the two countries.

Turkey and Israel normalized relations in August 2016 after the Turkish Parliament approved a deal for Israel to pay compensation to victims of the 2010 assault on the Mavi Marmara, a ship carrying humanitarian aid to the besieged people of Gaza.

Parliament in August 2016 approved a bill that instructed Israel to pay $20 million to the families as part of a normalization agreement between the two countries struck in July 2016 after a six-year freeze in relations.

The compensation was to be paid to the families of the 10 slain activists as well as 54 who were injured and dozens of others who were affected by the attack.

News reports in June said the compensation had not yet been paid to the victims; however, Ağbal announced on Friday that the compensation was paid to the victims and their families.
Israeli commandos stormed the Mavi Marmara while it was in international waters, killing nine activists on board and injuring 30. One of the injured activists subsequently died, bringing the death toll to 10.

Turkey demanded an official apology from Israel, compensation for the families of those killed and the lifting of Israel’s Gaza blockade. Four years ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed regret over the incident to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, then Turkey’s prime minister and now the country’s president.

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