Spread the love

Turkey suspends trade relations with Israel

Photo: Evelyn Hockstein Agence France-Presse A Turkish submarine patrols the Bosphorus Strait on January 6 in Istanbul.

Remi Banet – Agence France-Presse in Istanbul

Published yesterday at 5:57 p.m. Updated yesterday at 6:19 p.m.

  • Middle East

Turkey suspended its trade relations with Israel on Thursday in response to the war in Gaza, a new step in the deterioration of relations between the two countries.

« Exports and imports in relation to Israel have been suspended”, announced in a statement the Turkish Ministry of Commerce, which had already restricted exports of Turkish companies to Israel in April.

“Turkey will strictly implement these new measures until the Israeli government allows an uninterrupted flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza,” the ministry added.

Also read

  • Gaza Freedom Flotilla 'seeks protection from Canada'
  • Hamas response awaited on truce proposal in Gaza

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said earlier Thursday that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had “broken agreements [between Israel and Turkey] by blocking Israeli imports and exports in ports.”

The head of Israeli diplomacy said he wanted to “create alternatives to trade with Turkey, focusing on local production and imports from other countries.”

The Turkish Minister of Commerce did not specify whether Azerbaijani oil exports to Israel via the Turkish port of Ceyhan (south) were affected by Ankara's decision.

According to analysts, more than a third of Israel's oil needs until recently transited through this Turkish Mediterranean port.

Faced with growing anger among the Turkish population against maintaining trade relations with Israel, the Turkish government restricted exports to Israel of 54 categories of goods, including products made of steel, iron and aluminum, in early April.

“Terrorist State”

Turkey's exports to Israel amounted to $5.43 billion in 2023, up from $7.03 billion in 2022 and $6.36 billion in 2021, according to the Turkish Exporters Union and Turkstat statistics agency.

Turkey assures that he wants to “guarantee that our Palestinian brothers forced to live under occupation are not affected by these restrictions”.

“The Republic of Turkey will continue to support the just cause of our Palestinian brothers, as it has done so far,” writes the Turkish Ministry of Commerce.

The war between Israel and Palestinian Hamas has shattered the normalization of Turkish-Israeli relations begun in 2022 after a decade of estrangement.

President Erdogan, the one of the most critical voices of Israel's war in the Gaza Strip, has repeatedly called Israel a “terrorist state,” and said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “outdid Hitler.”

Mr. Erdogan, who recalled the Turkish ambassador to Tel Aviv in early November, at the time considered it impossible to “completely break” with Israel.

But criticism has intensified in Turkey in recent weeks against continued trade with Israel.

According to analysts, this anger contributed to the historic debacle of the Party of Israel. Justice and Development (AKP, Islamo-conservative) of President Erdogan in the local elections held at the end of March.

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan announced on Wednesday that Turkey would join South Africa's legal action against Israel before the International Court of Justice.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116