Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday that the Turkish parliament wouldl ratify the rapprochement agreement with Israel and vote on a law annulling all legal claims against Israeli soldiers and officers, before the legislature goes on recess at the end of next week.
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In a press briefing with the Turkish state news agency Anadolu, Cavusoglu said that the deal had not been ratified yet due to a failed July 15 military coup.
"I think we will finalize the issue before parliament’s recess. Israel has met our terms, paving the way to normalize ties. Therefore, we must do this as soon as possible," Cavusoglu said.
Israel and Turkey signed an agreement on June 28 to normalize ties and end a six-year crisis since the killings of nine Turkish civilians on board a flotilla destined for Gaza in May 2010, in a raid by Israeli commandos enforcing a maritime blockade on the coastal Palestinian territory.
Once Turkey’s parliament passes the deal and a law annulling claims against Israelis involved in the raid, Israel will pay Turkey $20 million to compensate the families of Turkish victims of the raid. Normalization of ties will begin immediately afterwards, and ambassadors will be appointed to both countries.
Senior Turkish officials have made it clear several times in the weeks to their peers in Jerusalem, that the reconciliation deal will go on as planned, despite the parliamentary delays.
Turkish Parliament approval is critical to carrying out the agreement, since lawmakers must pass a law to cancel any lawsuits already made against Israeli soldiers involved in the 2010 raid,
Only after the legislation is passed would Israel go ahead and transfer the $20 to victims' families, and then full normalization of ties will take place.
Both countries will name ambassadors to Ankara and Tel Aviv respectively, raising diplomatic ties to their highest level and removing any sanctions each side imposed on the other.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to name a professional diplomat as ambassador to Ankara. Several senior Foreign Ministry officials have already applied for the post, but the appointments committee has delayed meeting several times, in part due to Turkey's delays in passing the necessary legislation.