Turkey halts trade with Israel until permanent Gaza ceasefire

Israel criticised Turkey’s Erdogan for acting as a “dictator”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a joint statement to the media in Baghdad | AP (File) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a joint statement to the media in Baghdad | AP

Amid the worsening Palestinian situation, Turkey has halted trade with Israel until a permanent ceasefire in Gaza. 

The Turkish trade ministry said the measures would be in place until Israel allowed an "uninterrupted and sufficient flow" of aid into Gaza. Turkish Trade Minister Omer Bolat criticised Israel's "uncompromising attitude" towards a ceasefire.

 "Turkey has suspended all export and import with Israel until a permanent ceasefire is established and the aid into Gaza is allowed without any interruption," he said. 

Trade between the two countries was worth almost $6.8 billion last year.

Meanwhile, Israel's foreign minister accused Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan of acting like a "dictator". Erdogan was "disregarding the interests of the Turkish people and businessmen and ignoring international trade agreements,” Katz said on X.

He also added that the foreign ministry was instructed to find alternatives for trade with Turkey, with a focus on imports from other countries. 

Since the Gaza war after the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7 last year, Erdogan has been strongly criticising Israel. 

Turkey is negotiating "with our Palestinian brothers on alternative arrangements to ensure that they are not affected by this decision", he added while announcing April trade figures. 

Last month, Turkey curbed exports of steel, fertiliser and jet fuel among 54 product categories over what it said was Israel's refusal to allow Ankara to take part in aid air-drop operations for Gaza. All remaining trade, which amounted to $5.4 billion in Turkish exports and $1.6 billion in Israeli imports last year, is now halted, reported Reuters.

Steel, vehicles, plastics, electrical devices and machinery were the top Turkish exports to Israel.


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