Turkey To Halt All Trade With Israel

Turkey has halted all trade with Israel, escalating tensions further between the nations amidst the ongoing conflict in Gaza. This decision, not yet formally announced by Ankara, follows President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s intensified critique of Israel, aligning with his efforts to rally conservative domestic support.

The cessation of trade, valued at $6.8 billion in 2023—primarily comprising Turkish exports—could significantly impact both economies.

Israel’s Foreign Minister, Israel Katz, responded sharply on social media, condemning the move as detrimental to Turkey’s own interests and contrary to international trade norms. In anticipation of the trade halt’s effects, Israel is seeking to bolster its local manufacturing capacities and secure alternative sources for imports, particularly for iron and steel, which were major imports from Turkey last year.

This trade suspension coincides with Turkey’s decision to support South Africa’s legal actions against Israel at the United Nations’ highest court, accusing Israel of committing genocide in Palestinian territories. These developments mark a significant downturn in relations following a brief period of diplomatic restoration between Turkey and Israel since last August.

The backdrop of this deteriorating relationship is the recent conflict triggered by Hamas’s attacks, which has not only strained diplomatic ties but also inflamed public sentiment across various global communities. Erdogan’s vocal support for Hamas, which he refers to as “freedom fighters,” and his hosting of Hamas’s political leader in Istanbul highlight a stark contrast in perspectives with nations that categorize Hamas as a terrorist organization, such as the US and the European Union.

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