Lawyers of Turkey vs. Israel case denied Dutch visas

Lawyers of Turkey vs. Israel case denied Dutch visas
Sat Feb 22, 2014 09:59:28

Lawyers representing the victims of a fatal 2010 Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound Turkish aid flotilla say they have been denied visas to the Netherlands on their way to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Two members of the legal team, Gokdemir and Ramazan Ariturk, were not granted extensions to their three-year visas, which expired in November, despite informing Dutch officials that the ICC Prosecutor's Office - based in The Hague – had invited them for a meeting on legal action against high-ranking Israeli officials, al-Manar reported on Friday.

"They are not issuing us visas although we have made it clear that we are lawyers and we represent the victims of the flotilla raid," Cihat Gokdemir told Turkish Anadolu news agency.

In May 2010, Israeli commandos killed eight Turkish nationals and an American of Turkish origin in international waters when they attacked the Mavi Marmara, a ship in a flotilla carrying humanitarian aid and construction materials to the Gaza Strip, which is under an Israeli occupation blockade.

The event caused international outrage and soured Turkish-Israeli ties. Since then, Turkey has received an apology from the Israeli regime and the two parties are looking to normalize relations with a deal involving compensation for the victims’ families.

In March 2013, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he had apologized on behalf of the Tel Aviv regime for the fatal raid during a phone call with Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Israeli apology was brokered by US President Barack Obama during his visit to Tel Aviv.

Turkish and Israeli delegations later held talks to discuss the terms of a compensation agreement and Turkish officials said there was a deal in principle between the two sides to resolve the matter. However, negotiations seem to have halted.

Turkish media reports suggest that the Israeli regime might not accept to pay as much as one million dollars (around 800,000 euros) in damages for each Turkish victim.


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