HomeWorld‘Dictator’: Israeli foreign minister attacks Turkey's Erdogan over trade halt

‘Dictator’: Israeli foreign minister attacks Turkey’s Erdogan over trade halt

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Israel foreign minister Israel Katz criticised Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the latter’s recent decision to halt all imports and exports with Israel, effectively shutting down Turkish ports to Israeli trade. Katz called Erdogan ” a dictator”.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (AP/File)

“@RTErdogan is breaking agreements by blocking ports for Israeli imports and exports. This is how a dictator behaves, disregarding the interests of the Turkish people and businessmen, and ignoring international trade agreements,” Katz said in a post on X.

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Stopping all trade to and from Israel, Turkey cited “worsening humanitarian tragedy” in Palestinian territories. Turkey’s trade ministry said in a statement, “Export and import transactions related to Israel have been stopped, covering all products. Turkey will strictly and decisively implement these new measures until the Israeli Government allows an uninterrupted and sufficient flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza.”

As per Reuters, in 2023, the trade volume between the two nations amounted to $6.8 billion. Last month, Turkey imposed trade restrictions on Israel, citing Israel’s denial of Ankara’s participation in aid air-drop operations for Gaza and its military offensive in the enclave.

Katz also said that he instructed Israel’s foreign ministry to initiate alternatives for trade with Turkey.

“I have instructed the Director General of the @IsraelMFA 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,” he said.

The escalating tensions are likely to further strain relations between the once close allies, which have soured since the Gaza crisis erupted.

Hamas militants have killed approximately 1,136 Israeli citizens since October 7 and took around 250 individuals hostage. In response, Israel deployed troops into Gaza and conducted airstrikes, resulting in the deaths of over 34,000 people, as reported by the Gaza health ministry.

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