Israel reconciliation agreement up for parliamentary vote
by Elif Petek Samatyalı
ANKARAJul 12, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Elif Petek Samatyalı
Jul 12, 2016 12:00 am
The draft of the reconciliation deal signed by the Turkish and Israeli undersecretaries of foreign affairs will be forwarded the Parliament Foreign Affairs Commission, and is expected to be passed later this week to become law.
Ending a six-year dispute between the two countries, Turkey and Israel reached a reconciliation agreement two weeks ago. Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu announced the agreement with simultaneous press conferences held on June 27. Israel accepted Ankara's conditions to ease the Gaza blockade, apologize for the Mavi Marmara raid and pay compensation to the families of the victims. Yıldırım announced the details of the reconciliation deal last month, ending a six-year rift over Israeli commandoes killing nine Turkish citizens and one Turkish-American in international waters who tried to sail to the blockaded Gaza Strip in 2010. Yıldırım confirmed that Israel has agreed to pay $20 million in compensation to the families of the victims of the 2010 raid on the Mavi Marmara. Under the deal, Turkey will deliver humanitarian aid and other non-military products to Gaza and a first shipment of 10,000 tons of aid were sent last month, he told reporters during a press conference in Ankara. Under the deal, Turkey will also be allowed to deliver aid to Gaza in the future and invest in infrastructure projects.
Sources from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) stated that the General Assembly will prioritize the agreement with Israel. The draft will be under consideration as a whole, the articles will not be voted on separately, and there will be no option to move an amendment, as it is an international agreement.
Speaking with journalists after a Cabinet meeting on Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said that in both countries, legal processes concerning the agreement are being carried out on schedule. "The agreement with Israel will become official for Turkey right after our approval." He added that an ambassador will be appointed and this will be followed by further steps to be taken throughout the process of normalization. "All issues concerning the deal with Israel will be sent to Parliament in July." The draft agreement will be sent to Parliament by the Council of Ministers, following procedure for international agreements. After passing the General Assembly to become law, the reconciliation deal will afterward be forwarded to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for approval, and will be put into force after being published in the Official Gazette. According to Turkey's executive and legislative regulations, it is not possible to appeal to the Constitutional Court for the annulment of international agreements, thus the agreement is expected to come into force.