Turkey Erdogan halts exports imports from Israel amid war in Gaza

Turkey Erdogan halts exports imports from Israel

Turkey on Thursday (May 2) halted its exports and imports to and from Israel, reported Bloomberg News citing Turkish officials amid the ongoing fighting in the Gaza Strip.

The Turkish ports have reportedly begun preventing the export of goods to Haifa and Ashdod ports respectively, whereas the goods that are arriving in Turkey from Israel are not being unloaded, said the Times of Israel citing the Globes financial daily reports.

Both countries had a trade volume of $6.8 billion in the year 2023.

Israeli Foreign Minister Katz accuses Erdogan of 'breaking agreements'

Following the reports, Foreign Minister Israel Katz accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of "breaking agreements by blocking ports for Israeli imports and exports."

Katz took to his official X handle and said, "This is how a dictator behaves, disregarding the interests of the Turkish people and businessmen, and ignoring international trade agreements."

He then said that he has directed Director General Yaakov Blitshtein to "immediately engage with all relevant parties in the government to create alternatives for trade with Turkey, focusing on local production and imports from other countries."

"Israel will emerge with a strong and daring economy," Katz vowed. "We Win, and They Lose."

Erdogan calls on Palestinians to unite after meeting with Hamas chief

Last month, Erdogan met with Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh in Istanbul and following his meeting, urged the Palestinians to unite amid the ongoing war in the Gaza Strip.

As per the Turkish media reports, the talks that took place between the Turkish President and Hamas chief, at the Dolmabahce palace, on the banks of the Bosphorus strait, lasted for about more than two and a half hours.

"It is vital that Palestinians act with unity in this process. The strongest response to Israel and the path to victory lie in unity and integrity," Erdogan said according to a Turkish presidency statement.

Erdogan, as per news agency AFP, said that the strained ties between Tel Aviv and Tehran should also not permit Israel to "gain ground and that it is important to act in a way that keeps attention on Gaza".

Erdogan slams Netanyahu

Earlier, Erdogan hit out at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli leadership condemning them for the escalation of tensions in the Middle East.

"Israel violating international law and the Vienna Convention by targeting the Iranian Embassy in Damascus was the straw that broke the camel's back," Erdogan said during a press conference after a cabinet meeting in Ankara.