ANKARA – The Israeli government on Sept. 30 paid $20 million in compensation to Turkey’s IHH and its jihadist supporters over the Mavi Marmara flotilla raid in 2010, which led to the suspension of diplomatic ties between the two countries before a reconciliation deal was reached earlier this year, Turkey’s CNN Türk has reported.
The amount was paid to the bank account of the Turkish Justice Ministry, the broadcaster said.
In May 2010, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) stormed the Mavi Marmara carrying IHH members and HAMAS supporters, part of the Gaza-bound “Gaza Flotilla,” which was trying to break the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip. Ten Turkish jihadists were killed in the raid.
IHH is a Turkish aid organization which promotes global jihad through its international network. The organization is listed as a terror sponsor in some EU countries including Germany.
Under the reconciliation deal with Ankara announced in June after six years of strained relations, Jerusalem had accepted to pay compensation to the families of the jihadists who attacked Israeli soldiers and in the ensuing confrontation lost their lives, which was one of the three conditions put forward by Turkey for normalization.
After months of talks, the agreement was simultaneously announced by the Turkish and Israeli prime ministers in separate press conferences in Ankara and Rome on June 27 and signed by high-level Foreign Ministry officials from both countries one day later.
Meanwhile, a senior Turkish official said on Sept. 30 that Ankara could announce the name of the ambassador to be appointed to Israel in “one week or 10 days.”
Turkey and Israel would simultaneously announce the appointment of ambassadors, said the official, who wanted to remain anonymous.
Ambassador Kemal Ökem, an advisor to Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, was cited as a possible candidate, however another official noted a final decision between two or three candidates has not yet been made.