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Turkey, Israel near deal on compensation for 2010 flotilla raid victims


ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey's deputy prime minister says Turkey and Israel could soon reach a deal over compensation payments for the victims of a 2010 Israeli raid — a key condition for restoring ties between the countries.

Relations between the two former allies soured after Israeli commandos stormed an aid ship trying to breach a blockade of the Gaza Strip in May 2010, killing eight Turks and one Turkish-American.

Israel apologized to Turkey for the deaths last year under a U.S.-brokered agreement and agreed to pay compensation, but the sides could not agree on terms.

Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc told Hurriyet newspaper on Tuesday that an agreement was likely to be signed after Turkey's local elections on Sunday and would then go to parliament for approval.

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