Quoting Finance Minister Naci Ağbal on Friday, Turkish media outlets said Israel has paid $20 million in compensation to the families of Turkish activists killed in the Mavi Marmara raid in 2010, adding that the compensation has been delivered to the affected families. Ağbal's statement brings an end to allegations that Turkey was prolonging the legal process to pass on the compensation provided by Israel.
Nine Turkish activists aboard the Mavi Marmara, part of a flotilla traveling to the Gaza Strip to break the Israeli blockade and deliver humanitarian aid, were killed on May 31, 2010 when Israeli troops stormed the vessel at sea before it reached the Palestinian territories. A tenth victim succumbed to his wounds in 2014 after being in a coma for years. The incident led Turkish-Israeli relations to sink to a new low and the two countries, already at odds over the blockade of the Gaza Strip, virtually froze ties. The two countries had withdrawn their respective ambassadors before starting to seek means for reconciliation years later. However, the protracted negotiations over the amount of compensation to be paid to the Turkish victims of the raid led nowhere. Israel agreed to increase reparations for the victims to $20 million and a draft of an agreement between the two states was written in February 2014. The countries also agreed that Turkish Parliament would drop the lawsuits against Israeli soldiers who had participated in the raid under a new law. Turkey and Israel finally settled on a reconciliation deal last June that also included Israel's permission for Turkish aid to reach Gaza.