‘Humanitarian tragedy’ in Gaza: Turkey halts trade with Israel

Time Of Info By TOI Desk Report   May 3, 2024   Update on : May 3, 2024

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Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: Screengrab

Turkey has announced to suspend all kinds of trade with Israel over its offensive in Gaza, stating the “worsening humanitarian tragedy” in the Gaza Strip.

As long as Israel does not allow an uninterrupted flow of aid into Gaza, the measures will remain in place, said the Turkish trade ministry.

Trade between both countries was worth almost $7bn (£5.6bn) last year.

Following the decision, exports and imports to and from Israel remained suspended, said the Turkish Ministry of Trade.

The ministry said in a statement on Thursday that export and import transactions related to Israel have been closed, covering all products.

However, Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz accused Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan of acting like a “dictator”.

The Turkish President was “disregarding the interests” of the Turkish people and businessmen and ignoring international trade agreements, Israel Katz said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Katz also said he had directed the foreign ministry to find alternatives for trade with Turkey and focused on local production and imports from other countries.

Turkey recognised Israel as first Muslim-majority country in 1949, but relations between both countries have worsened in recent decades.

After 10 pro-Palestinian Turkish activists were killed in clashes with Israeli commandos, Turkey broke off diplomatic ties with Israel in 2010.

The Israeli commandos boarded a Turkish-owned ship trying to break Israel’s maritime blockade of the strip.

Both countries restored their relations in 2016, but they expelled each other’s top diplomats two years later following a dispute over Israel’s killing of Palestinians during protests on the Gaza-Israel border.


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