HomeWorldTurkey reportedly halts all trade with Israel over war in Gaza

Turkey reportedly halts all trade with Israel over war in Gaza


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Turkey has reportedly halted all trade with Israel over its actions in Gaza, prompting strong criticism of its president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, from the Israeli foreign minister.

Israel Katz accused Erdoğan of acting like a “dictator” after Bloomberg cited two senior Turkish officials saying that Ankara had significantly ramped up restrictions first brought in last month, halting all imports or exports as of Thursday.

Turkey has not formally announced the suspension and it remains unclear what the necessary conditions are for trade to resume.

The row will probably deepen tensions between the two formerly close allies, which have deteriorated since the start of the crisis in Gaza.

Hamas militants killed an estimated 1,136 Israeli citizens on 7 October and took about 250 people hostage, and since then Israel has sent soldiers into Gaza and bombarded the territory, killing more than 34,000 people, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

Turkey’s trade ministry first announced restrictions on exports to Israel in early April, stopping the export of iron and steel products and construction equipment. The two countries had a trade volume of $6.8bn in 2023.

Katz said Erdoğan was “breaking agreements by blocking ports for Israeli imports and exports”.

He said: “This is how a dictator behaves, disregarding the interests of the Turkish people and businessmen, and ignoring international trade agreements.”

Katz added that Israel would try to replace any lost products via local production and imports from other countries.

Last month Katz criticised Erdoğan for his decision to publicise his latest meeting in Istanbul with the head of Hamas’s politburo, Ismail Haniyeh.

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