Turkish gov't won't intervene in Mavi Marmara trials says PM

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Turkish prime minister says that negotiations with the Israeli state on compensation for ten Turkish victims of the 2010 Mavi Marmara raid will continue, the trial process by the families that calls for charges against Israeli officials can not be interfered with by the Turkish state

Turkish prime minister says that negotiations with the Israeli state on compensation for ten Turkish victims of the 2010 Mavi Marmara raid will continue, the trial process by the families that calls for charges against Israeli officials can not be interfered with by the Turkish state

ANKARA - The Turkish government has no power to stop a public trial process against the Israeli government by the families of the ten Turkish citizens who died during the 2010 Mavi Marmara raid, said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday.

Erdogan, however, emphased that ongoing state negotiations with Israel for compensation for the families should be accepted as a separate issue.

On Monday, a Turkish court ordered the arrest of four Israeli officials on who authorized and ordered the raid, and an Interpol red notice was issued for the officials, who neither attended the trial nor responded to the summons sent for them.

The Mavi Marmara flotilla, organized by the Free Gaza Movement and the Turkish Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH), was carrying humanitarian aid and construction materials, with the intention of breaking the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip when it was stormed during an Israeli commando raid.

The attack in 2010 led to international outrage and soured Turkish-Israeli ties. Last year, obligated by the U.S., Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered an apology to Turkey during a phone conversation with Erdogan. 

The two states then started negotiations on a compensation deal for the families of the victims. Israel reportedly offered $20 million compensation to the families of those Turks who died in the raid.

"We already stated that these trials started by families of the martyrs and survivors of Mavi Marmara incident are not under our initiative, so we do not have any right to intervene. Stating that beforehand, we started negotiations," Erdogan said.

The Israeli officials charged by the court are Israel's former Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, former navy chief Eliezer Marom, former military intelligence head Amos Yadlin and former air force intelligence chief Avishai Levy.

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