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Türkiye launches trade war on Israel

The Jewish state has threatened retaliation against Ankara’s restrictions over the Gaza war

The Turkish government has imposed export restrictions on Israel covering 54 product categories, in response to the Gaza war, the Trade Ministry announced on Tuesday.

Ankara has been one of the fiercest critics of Israel since the conflict with Hamas broke out in October. Protests have been held in Istanbul in recent days demanding a trade ban. Ankara’s decision also follows the Israeli government’s refusal to allow Turkish aid drops into Gaza.

According to Turkish Trade Ministry, the items on the export embargo list – which takes immediate effect – include aluminum, copper, steel, construction materials, machinery, and various chemical products. Türkiye had already stopped sending Israel any goods that could be used for military purposes, the ministry noted.

The restrictions will remain in place until Israel declares a ceasefire in Gaza and allows “the unhindered flow of sufficient humanitarian aid” into the area, the document adds. Israel has been accused by the UN and human rights groups of obstructing the deliveries of aid into Gaza.

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Turkish President and Leader of Justice and Development (AK) Party Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the crowd during his party's election rally prior to the municipal elections in Kilis, Turkiye on March 21, 2024.
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In response to the restrictions, the Israeli Foreign Ministry accused Türkiye of “unilaterally” violating bilateral trade deals. Foreign Minister Israel Katz took to X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday to threaten Ankara with “parallel measures” that will “harm” the Turkish economy. Israel will prepare a list of products it intends to stop buying from Türkiye, he said.  Katz also called on the US to halt investments in the country and impose sanctions on Ankara.

The trade dispute follows a diplomatic row between the two nations’ leaders. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly compared the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Adolf Hitler and accused Israel of committing “genocide” against the Palestinians. Israel, meanwhile, has claimed that the Turkish president ranks among the worst anti-Semites in history, due to his stance on the conflict and support for Hamas.

Israel declared war on Hamas in October in response to a deadly raid staged by the militant group, in which at least 1,200 people were killed and more than 200 taken hostage. The retaliatory bombing of Gaza and ground operation has caused the deaths of at least 33,000 people, according to the territory’s Health Ministry.

April 09, 2024 at 07:55PM
RT

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