Marmara Islamists angered by Turkey-Israel talks

IHH, which organized 2010 Gaza flotilla, criticizes Turkish government for working to restore ties with Israel.

Nitsan Keidar ,

Mavi Marmara
Mavi Marmara
Defense Ministry Spokesperson

The Islamist Turkish organization IHH, which organized the 2010 flotilla to Gaza, on Monday criticized Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) over its attempts to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel.

It was the 2010 flotilla to Gaza, in which IDF soldiers had to raid the Mavi Marmara after IHH Islamists on board violated the naval blockade on Gaza and refused to obey orders to turn around, which resulted in the breaking of ties after between the two countries.

According to the Today’s Zaman newspaper, the IHH posted a series of tweets on Monday stating that the families of those who were killed on the Marmara were not consulted in any way regarding the articles of a possible agreement between Israel and Turkey.

“Families of martyrs: We would like to state, first and foremost, that the negotiations with Israel are ongoing without our consent,” one of the tweets read.

Another tweet stated that the families of the dead were upset that the government overlooked the “reason for their [family members'] departure” and engaged in negotiations that prioritize compensation.

The families of those killed in the raid said, according to the IHH’s tweets, that to think that they would waive their lawsuits against the Israeli culprits in return for compensation is an “insult” and noted that for them the primary objective is not compensation but the lifting of the blockade on Gaza.

They also said that the compensation that Israel pays should stem from the acknowledgement that they committed a “tortuous act,” not out of "graciousness," according to Today’s Zaman.

Recent reports indicated that Israel and Turkey, in secret talks in Switzerland, had reached "understandings" to normalize ties that were downgraded following the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident.

Turkish officials, however, have downplayed the reports, noting that while progress was made in talks, no agreement has been reached.

In contrast, Dore Gold, Director-General of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, recently told a Saudi Arabian website that an agreement with Turkey on normalization of ties was close.

"An agreement is close," Gold told the Elaph news website, noting that there are intensive contacts between the two sides. "Some points have already been finalized and others are still being discussed, but things are on track."

Turkish defense sources revealed last month that Turkey is primarily interested in rapprochement so as to buy Israeli military hardware, with Ankara interested in buying more advanced Israeli drones as well as reconnaissance and surveillance systems for its fighter jets.

Senior Israeli security sources for their part said they doubt Turkey is serious about rapprochement, noting the crisis in Ankara’s ties with Russia - a key gas supplier for Turkey - that apparently prompted the desire for natural gas trade with Israel.



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