An Israeli delegation’s visit to Turkey to discuss compensation for the families of the nine Turks who died on the Mavi Marmara, scheduled for this week, has been postponed, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arınc said on Monday.
“I will be accompanying the prime minister for his trip to Kyrgyzstan, so we contacted [Israel] and postponed their visit,” Arinc told reporters after a Cabinet meeting, according to a report in the Turkish daily Hurriyet.
He added that the Israeli delegation is expected to come to Turkey on April 21. The delegation was to visit Ankara on Thursday and Friday of this week.
The announcement of the postponement came several hours after anti-Israel activists said they would not withdraw a lawsuit against Israeli commanders for the 2010 Gaza-bound flotilla incident.
"We will not discuss compensation or give up on the trials until the blockade over Gaza is removed," said Musa Cogas, one of the activists who was on board the Mavi Marmara.
“Israel can only be persuasive if it takes legal action against their soldiers and punishes them,” he told reporters at a press conference organized by the IHH organization, which was responsible for organizing the flotilla.
Cogas said they would continue their cases and it was unacceptable to withdraw the cases in return for compensation.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu apologized last month to his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for the deaths of the nine Turks in the 2010 flotilla.
Netanyahu, in addition to the apology, agreed to compensate the families of the nine Turks, while Erdogan promised to cancel the legal proceedings his country launched against IDF officials.
One of the flotilla participants from the Mavi Marmara has already indicated he would give all the compensation money he receives to Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists.