Turkey refuses Israeli offer for Gaza Flotilla raid

Ankara is reportedly unwilling to accept Israel’s compensation for the 2010 raid on the vessel Mavi Marmara, saying Jerusalem views it as an ex gratia payment and not as a result of a wrongful act. The newspaper 'Hürriyet' quoted on Wednesday Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arinc as saying that “In our first meeting they showed no opposition to this [demand]. But in the second meeting, they intended to give an ex gratia payment as a form of reparation because they fear compensation [as a result of their wrongful act] will set an example for other cases."

“We are not going to rush for the money. Israel has to accept its wrongful act. Otherwise we will not say ‘yes’ to them,” he said, adding that the amount of money to be given to the families of the victims will be automatically calculated in accordance with criteria," the newspaper quoted the deputy of Prime Minister Erdogan as saying.

The two sides have held three meetings in April and in May. Previous reports said the stalemate in talks was a result of disagreements over the amount of money Israel would pay in compensation to the families of the nine Turks that were killed aboard the Gaza-bound 'Freedom Flotilla'.

Arinc insisted the amount of money was not the contested issue, but rather Israel’s refusal to acknowledge that the incident was a wrongful act. He added that talks about the amount of money could take place before Turkey’s other two conditions – for Israel to acknowledge the loss of lives in the raid, and to lift its blockade on Gaza – are met.

Israel’s National Security Adviser Ya’akov Amidror, who heads the Israeli delegation to Turkey for the reconciliation talks, said that Israel did not commit to ending its Gaza blockade as part of reconciliation with Turkey. 

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