Turkish Trade Ministry Restricts Exports to Israel Over Gaza War

By Yoni Weiss

Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Yerushalayim, Feb. 19. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

The Turkish Trade Ministry announced on Tuesday its decision to impose export restrictions on Israel across 54 categories, aiming to exert pressure on Israel to pursue a ceasefire in Gaza. Turkish officials emphasized that these trade limitations would persist until Israel declares an immediate halt to hostilities in Gaza and ensures continuous provision of adequate humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip.

Israeli authorities are apprehensive that the export ban, encompassing items such as iron and construction-related raw materials, might escalate to include regional petroleum and impact El Al flights passing through Turkish airspace.

This trade restriction comes on the heels of a statement from Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, who declared a series of measures against Israel. These decisions stem from Turkish dissatisfaction with Israel’s refusal to allow Turkey and Qatar to air-drop humanitarian aid over Gaza.

Addressing a press conference, Fidan stressed that hindering Turkey’s humanitarian efforts for Gaza was unjustifiable. He outlined Turkey’s intent to implement a sequence of new measures against Israel, endorsed by President Erdogan, until Israel agrees to a ceasefire and ensures uninterrupted humanitarian aid delivery to Gaza.

Fidan also highlighted Turkey’s significant contribution of humanitarian aid to Gaza, including over 42,000 tons dispatched through sea and air routes. He underscored Turkey’s commitment as one of the leading contributors to Gaza’s aid relief efforts.

In response to Turkey’s move, Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz stated that the Turkish decision “nullifies trade agreements with Israel” and announced Israel’s intention to appeal to its allies in the U.S. Congress to investigate Turkey’s breach of agreements and consider imposing sanctions on Ankara.

Katz reaffirmed Israel’s stance against coercion and violence, asserting that Israel will take reciprocal measures against Turkey, potentially impacting its economy.

The relationship between Israel and Turkey, characterized by fluctuations in recent years, has significantly deteriorated since the onset of the conflict in Gaza. Last month, Katz summoned Turkey’s deputy ambassador to Israel for a reprimand following threats issued by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

To Read The Full Story

Are you already a subscriber?
Click to log in!