Turkish parliament approves reconciliation deal with Israel

Turkey's parliament approved a reconciliation deal with Israel paving the way for the two countries to appoint ambassadors and begin putting six years of strife behind them.

Parliament, on its official Twitter feed, announced the deal was approved in the early morning hours, just before the legislative house went on its summer recess.

Ties were ruptured in 2010 when Israeli naval commandos raided a pro-Palestinian aid flotilla as it headed to breach the Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Ten Turkish nationals - one with joint US citizenship - died as a result of the raid on the ship, Mavi Marmara.

The ratification by parliament was expected last month, but was delayed because of a failed coup in Turkey.

Under the last stage of the deal, Israel will transfer a lump sum of 20 million dollars into a Turkish government account, which will then be distributed to the families of those killed aboard the flotilla.

This should be completed within 25 days of the deal entering into force.

Also, Turkey agreed no individuals would be held accountable for the deaths.

Turkey and Israel inked a deal in June and it has already been approved by the Israeli cabinet.

Under the deal, Turkey has already been able to up the amount of aid it sends to Palestinians in the embattled Gaza Strip. Already in 2013, Israel expressed regret for the deaths, a key Turkish demand to restore once vibrant ties.

Ankara has also begun recently to open up to other foes, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently visiting Russia to mend fences.

Last update: Sat, 20/08/2016 - 12:21
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