Turkey imposes trade restrictions on Israel as relations deteriorate further


Turkey and Israel announced tit-for-tat trade barriers on Tuesday as relations between them further deteriorated amid the war in Gaza.

Turkey, a staunch critic of Israel's military actions in Gaza, first announced that it was restricting exports of 54 types of products to Israel with immediate effect. The products include aluminum, steel, construction products, jet fuel and chemical fertilizers. Responding to the Turkish trade restrictions, Israel said it was preparing a ban on products from Turkey.

The move came a day after Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said Israel had barred Turkish military cargo planes from joining an operation to airdrop humanitarian aid to Gaza and vowed to respond with a series of measures against Israel until it declares a ceasefire in Gaza and allows aid to flow in without interruptions.

"There is no excuse for Israel to block our attempt to deliver aid by air to starving people of Gaza," Fidan said, in announcing retaliatory steps against Israel.

The trade-restricting measures also come as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government is faced with intense pressure at home to halt trade with Israel. Critics accuse the government of engaging in double standards by leveling strong accusations against Israel while continuing lucrative commercial relations.

Erdogan, whose ruling party has roots in Turkey's Islamic movement, has been an outspoken critic of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians since coming into office in 2003.

The Turkish leader stepped up his criticism of Israel following its military actions in Gaza, describing Israel's actions in Gaza as war crimes verging on "genocide" and asserting that the Hamas militant group, considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States and European Union, is a group fighting for the liberation of its lands and people.

In a post on X, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said Erdogan was "once again sacrificing the economic interests of the people of Turkey for his support of the Hamas murderers in Gaza."

In the same post, he said had contacted organizations in the U.S. and asked them to stop investing in Turkey and refrain from importing Turkish goods.

Turkish exports to Israel amounted to $5.4 billion in 2023, according to the Turkish Statistics Office.

Turkey and Israel had normalized ties by appointing ambassadors to their respective countries in 2022, following years of tensions between the two.

Comments 0