Mar. 23 - Activists and Turks welcome Israel's official apology for killing nine Turkish citizens during a raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla in 2010. Jessica Gray reports.
Israel's deadly naval raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla in 2010. Nine Turkish citizens were killed in the incident, leading to a breakdown in diplomatic ties between the two countries. But on Friday, those ties began to thaw after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued an official apology during a visit by U.S. President Barack Obama. Many have heralded the move as a step in the right direction. This Turkish activist on board during the raid says the apology is meaningful, even nearly three years down the road. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) ACTIVIST WHO WAS ON BOARD MAVI MARMARA, EKREM ES SAYING: "The apology is a good step for us. It is not enough and it is a belated apology, but despite everything, it means a lot that they admitted their mistake and apologised for it. This is a positive step for the people on board the Mavi Marmara. With this apology, Israel has admitted the crime it committed, so this apology means a lot for us." Echoing his statement, the Humanitarian Relief Foundation, which took part in the flotilla, called the apology a victory for victims during a press conference on Friday. However, the group refused to back down on legal proceedings demanding that criminal charges be brought against those responsible. In Ankara, the surprise announcement was featured in every newspaper. Many residents said they were pleased by the opportunity to renew relations between the former allies.