By Kadir Karakus and Huseyin Gazi Kayki
ANKARA (AA) – The Turkish parliament late Friday approved a deal for Israel to pay compensation for victims of the 2010 Mavi Marmara tragedy.
The deal involves Tel Aviv paying $20 million to the families as part of a normalization agreement between the two countries secured last month after a six-year hiatus in ties.
The sum will be transferred in a one-time deposit to a bank account opened by Turkey and shared through diplomatic channels, and the transaction will be completed within 25 business days of the bilateral agreement coming into force.
Earlier this month, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Tel Aviv met all of Ankara’s preconditions for normalizing ties, which were severed in 2010 after Israeli commandos stormed a Gaza-bound Turkish aid vessel in international waters.
The attack resulted in the death of nine Turkish activists and left another 30 injured, one of whom succumbed to his injuries nearly four years later.
In the aftermath of the attack, Turkey demanded an official apology from Israel, compensation for the families of those killed and the lifting of Israel’s Gaza blockade.
In 2013, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced regret over the incident to Turkey’s then-prime minister (now president), Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
In addition to the compensation, Israel has agreed to Turkey’s humanitarian presence in the occupied Gaza Strip.