Turkish FM: We’re close to reconciliation deal with Israel

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told Turkish cabinet ministers last week that efforts to finalize a reconciliation deal with Israel were close to being completed, the Turkish Hurriyet newspaper reported on Monday.

According to the report, Cavusoglu said Turkey and Israel might make a joint statement “in the coming days.”

The once-close relationship between Turkey and Israel soured after the May 2010 Gaza flotilla incident, in which eight Turkish citizens and one Turkish-American were killed when Israeli naval commandos boarded the Mavi Marmara vessel, which was seeking to breach Israel’s naval blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. A 10th Turkish citizen died later of his injuries.

Under a U.S.-brokered arrangement in 2013, Israel apologized to Turkey for the deaths and agreed to compensate the victims’ families. But subsequent efforts to restore ties have stalled.