Yet another anti-Israel move from Turkey: halting all trade with the country

Following a measure taken last month to restrict export trade  with Israel, Turkey announced on May 2 that it stopped all exports and imports with to and from Israel.

Last month, Turkey annoznced the restriction of 54 export trade products coming from Israel, including cement, steel, aluminum, iron construction materials and equipment, in response to the war in Gaza, reports The Times of Israel.

Since the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly criticized Israel, branding the country a „terrorist state” and asserting it commits genocide. Erdogan has defending Hamas — considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States and the European Union —, labelling it “a liberation group.”

Turkey’s latest measure against Israel is halting all trade with the country. Citing Israel’s military offensive in Gaza, a Turkish Trade Ministry statement said “export and import transactions in relation to Israel have been stopped, covering all products.”

The ministry described the step as the “second phase” of measures against Israel, adding that the steps would remain in force until Israel “allows an uninterrupted and sufficient flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza.”

According to sources, Turkish ports were already preventing the export of goods to Haifa and Ashdod ports, while Israeli goods arriving in Turkey were not being unloaded.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of “breaking agreements by blocking ports for Israeli imports and exports,” adding that “This is how a dictator behaves, disregarding the interests of the Turkish people and businessmen, and ignoring international trade agreements.”

Katz said he instructed Foreign Ministry Director General Yaakov Blitshtein to “immediately engage with all relevant parties in the government to create alternatives for trade with Turkey, focusing on local production and imports from other countries.”

“Israel will emerge with a strong and daring economy,” Katz pledged. “We Win, and They Lose.”

Israel and Turkey had been having free trade agreements from the mid-1990s, which are now being violated. The two countries had a trade volume of $6.8 billion in 2023. According to Turkish statistics, the country’s exports to Israel stood at $5.43 billion last year.

 

Photo credit: Turkish Presidency via AP