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In move to halt trade with Israel, Turkey reportedly blocks imports, exports at Turkish ports – UPI.com

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On Thursday, Turkey ended trade with Israel, blocking Israeli imports and exports at Turkish ports. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz lashed out at Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (pictured 2023), accusing him of behaving like a dictator and violating trade agreements. File Photo by Jason Szenes/UPI | License Photo

May 2 (UPI) — Turkey on Thursday suspended trade with Israel as Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said Turkish ports have blocked Israeli imports and exports.

According to media reports, two Turkish government officials with knowledge of the situation said that Turkey has completely suspended trade with Israel.

In a post on X, Katz lashed out at President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for cutting off commerce between the nations.

“This is how a dictator behaves, disregarding the interests of the Turkish people and businessmen, and ignoring international trade agreements,” Katz posted on X.

He added that “Erdogan is breaking agreements by blocking ports for Israeli imports and exports.”

Katz said Israeli Director General Yaakov Blitshtein has been ordered to create alternatives to trade with Turkey. Israel and Turkey have had free trade agreements from the mid-1990s.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately clarify which specific ports Turkey is using to block Israeli trade. Israel imports oil from Azerbaijan through Turkey’s Ceyhan port on the Mediterranean.

Prior to Thursday’s action, Turkey in April imposed trade restrictions on 54 product groups affecting Israel.

As of Thursday afternoon Turkey had not made a formal announcement on ending trade with Israel.

Israeli-Turkish relations have suffered amid the Gaza war.

This development affects billions of dollars in bilateral trade between the nations. According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, total trade with Israel was $6.8 billion in 2023.

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