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Turkey halts trade with Israel over Gaza conflict

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Turkey has cut off trade with Israel, again accusing the country of stoking a “humanitarian disaster” in Gaza, marking the latest sign of intensifying tensions between the two nations.

Ankara’s Commerce Ministry said late Thursday that all Israel-related export and import transactions had been halted and would not resume until the Jewish state “allows an uninterrupted and sufficient flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Ankara sanctioned exports of 54 major categories of goods in April, but the latest move will disrupt bilateral trade worth more than $7 billion a year. A Turkish official described the restrictions as a temporary measure intended to put pressure on Israel, but said they could also be reversed if Ankara’s conditions were met.

Israel Katz, Israel’s foreign minister, said earlier in the day, following a Bloomberg report that Ankara had halted trade, that he had urgently asked officials to “create alternatives for the trade with Turkey.

“This is how a dictator behaves, ignoring the interests of the Turkish people and businessmen and ignoring international trade agreements. » Katz wrote aboutreferring to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry did not respond to questions about whether Ankara had officially informed Israel of its move.

Erdoğan has stepped up his criticism of Israel in recent months, accusing it of acts of “genocide” over its war with Hamas and calling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the “butcher of Gaza.”

Turkey has also distanced itself from its Western allies by refusing to identify Hamas as a terrorist organization and allowing its members to live in the country. Erdoğan hosted Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh for meetings in Turkey last month. Ankara also said this week it would try to join South Africa’s case against Israel at the International Court of Justice.

Turkey’s trade with Israel amounted to $7.1 billion last year, up from $9.5 billion in 2022, according to Trade Data Monitor, a customs database. Turkish exports accounted for about three-quarters of that. A free trade agreement between the two countries came into force in 1997.

Erdoğan faces significant pressure domestically to step up measures against Israel, particularly after local elections in March, when his party suffered its biggest defeat since its founding two decades ago. Many candidates said during their campaigns that Erdoğan’s government had not taken enough action against Israel over the Gaza war.

Erdoğan had pursued a policy of rapprochement with Israel before the war began on October 7, as part of a broader effort to improve relations in the region and boost Turkey’s flagging economy. He first met Netanyahu last September at a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly.

Turkey and Israel expelled their respective ambassadors in 2018 after Israeli soldiers killed dozens of protesters in Gaza. The two countries restored diplomatic relations in 2022.



News Source : www.ft.com
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jack colman

With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class.After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim.Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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