Türkiye suspends all trade operations with Israel

Flags of Turkey and Israel

Türkiye has suspended all export and import operations with Israel due to its “aggression against Palestine in violation of international law and human rights,” the Turkish Trade Ministry has announced.

The suspension comes nearly seven months after Israel started its genocide and will remain in place until the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza is allowed uninterrupted.

In 2023, the two countries had a trade volume of $6.8 billion and President Erdogan has been under pressure domestically to back his pro-Palestine rhetoric with action.

Previously, Türkiye restricted 54 product categories’ exports to Israel on April 9, saying that despite this measure it is observed that the Israeli government continued its aggressive stance and the humanitarian tragedy in Palestine has worsened.

Nearly 35,000 Palestinian civilians, including 15,000 children, have lost their lives and approximately 78,000 Palestinian citizens have been injured as a result of Israel’s attacks against Palestine in violation of international law and human rights, the ministry stated.

“Since the first day, our country has rushed to the aid of the people of Gaza, delivered tens of thousands of tons of humanitarian aid to the region by ships and planes, especially food, health and medical aid materials, evacuated thousands of patients and stood by our Palestinian brothers and sisters in these difficult days,” the ministry said.

It added: “However, the massacre, humanitarian catastrophe and physical destruction caused by Israel continued, and the Israeli government ignored international ceasefire efforts and prevented humanitarian aid.”

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Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Editorial credit: Siarhei Liudkevich / Shutterstock.com

Türkiye will strictly and decisively implement these new measures until the Israeli government allows the uninterrupted and sufficient flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza, it noted.

The ministry also said necessary efforts are being coordinated between the Turkish Trade Ministry and the Palestinian Ministry of National Economy to ensure that “our Palestinian brothers and sisters who are forced to live under occupation are not affected by these restrictions.”

“The Republic of Türkiye will continue to support the deserving cause of our Palestinian brothers and sisters, as it has done until today,” it added.

In Gaza, Hamas praised Türkiye’s decisions to suspend trade with Israel considering it a “victory for the Palestinian people.”

“We highly value the decisions recently made by the Republic of Turkiye in support of our Palestinian people who are being subjected to a horrific genocide, which include the suspension of commercial dealings with the occupation entity, and the announcement of joining the genocide lawsuit filed by South Africa against the criminal Zionist entity at the International Court of Justice. We consider these courageous decisions a continuation and reflection of the authentic stance of the Turkish people, supporting the struggle of our Palestinian people and their right to freedom and self-determination.

“We call on all countries, especially Arab and Islamic ones, to sever all relations with the Nazi Zionist entity, to isolate it internationally, and to pursue accountability for its leaders for their systematic crimes against our children and unarmed civilians in the Gaza Strip.”

Meanwhile, Israel’s foreign minister accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of acting like a “dictator.”

Israel Katz said on X that Mr Erdogan was “disregarding the interests of the Turkish people and businessmen and ignoring international trade agreements.”

He added that he had instructed the foreign ministry to find alternatives for trade with Turkey, with a focus on local production and imports from other countries.

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