08.05.2024 Author: Abbas Hashemite

Turkey Bans Trade with Israel

Turkey Bans Trade with Israel

With every single day passing, Israel has been breaking the records of brutality and war crimes in Gaza since October 7, 2023. The Israel-Hamas war has been continuing for months now. More than 34000 people, the majority of civilian women and children, have been killed in Israel’s genocide in Gaza. Israeli forces have been using various illegal weapons to torture civilians in the occupied land. Hospitals, Mosques, Churches, and Schools have also been the victims of the Israeli brutalities. Pregnant women are unable to gain suitable treatment. Nearly, 20000 babies have been born in Gaza during this ongoing siege by Israeli forces in Gaza. These newborns are on the brink of death. A recent UN report declared that newborn babies in the Gaza Strip are under severe threats of death due to their underweight mothers and malnutrition.

The Israeli government is undertaking all sorts of possible measures to ensure that the people of the occupied land face the worst conditions of life under its occupation of the Gaza enclave. Israel’s war crimes also include the use of starvation of civilians as a weapon of war according to the United Nations. Thousands of aid trucks are waiting to enter into the occupied land, but the apartheid state of Israel is not approving their passage into Gaza. Israeli defense forces have even attacked the humanitarian aid workers in Gaza. According to the United Nations, more than 190 workers associated with the agency have been killed in the Gaza Strip as of 29th March. Israeli forces have been accused of intentionally targeting the aid workers to stop the welfare work in the occupied territory. Recently, Israeli forces hit a convoy of a US-based welfare organization, the World Central Kitchen, which resulted in the killing of its seven staff members.

Netanyahu’s government has continuously been outlawing different aid organizations from working in Gaza. It even falsely blamed members of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for being involved in the October 7 attacks to legitimize its ban on aid work in Gaza. These actions met global condemnation. Many regional and Western allies of the apartheid state have also been criticizing these steps time and again. These moves have also deteriorated its trade relations with its allies. Amongst regional trade partners, Turkey holds a significant position. Both countries had amicable trade relations. Turkey is responsible for exporting 70 percent of Israel’s iron construction material. Moreover, 1/3rd of Israel’s cement needs are also filled by Turkey. In 2022, Turkey’s exported goods and commodities worth 7.32 billion USD. Last year, Israel became the 13th largest export destination for Turkey, with the volume of exports exceeding $5.4 billion. Overall, Turkey exports items in 54 categories to Israel. These items include jet fuel, steel and iron products, chemicals, machines, bricks, pesticides, construction materials, and pesticides along with many others. However, the ongoing war in Gaza became a major deterrent in their relations.

Turkey was one of the few countries which boycotted pro-Israel products on official level. Moreover, it also pulled back its diplomats from Israel shortly after the commencement of the war. The Turkish President adopted a harsh rhetoric against Israel soon after the start of the ongoing war in Gaza. Despite that, the Turkish government faced immense pressure and criticism from pro-Palestinian people due to its trade relations with Israel. Rumors circulated time and again, suggesting that Turkey increased military exports to Israel amidst the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. However, the Turkish government always refuted such claims. The Turkish government played a pivotal role in providing humanitarian aid to Gazans. However, the Israeli government recently disapproved of the Turkish proposal to air-drop aid into the bombarded territory. This move infuriated Ankara. The Turkish government imposed restrictions on exports to Israel, demanding a ceasefire and surge in aid to the civilians in Gaza. The Turkish Ministry of Trade announced that it will no longer export items under 54 categories to Israel. The statement issued by the Ministry said, “Israel continues to flagrantly violate international law and ignores the international community…. This decision will remain in place until Israel declares a ceasefire immediately and allows adequate and uninterrupted flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza.”

Israel is already facing global isolation due to its war crimes in Gaza. Officials in Tel Aviv are highly antagonized by this Turkish move. Yisrael Katz, Israel’s Foreign Minister, responded to these Turkish trade embargoes by stating that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is sacrificing his country’s economic interests for his support for Hamas. He also added that Israel will work to target Turkish interests to impinge its economy by asking pro-Israel people in the United States to stop their investments in Turkey. Ankara also hinted at joining South Africa’s case against Israel in the International Court of Justice. These moves are widely being lauded in domestically and among all the pro-Palestinian people. Israel will further be isolated through this move. On the other hand, Turkey might have to face some difficulties at the international level, especially in its relations with the US and EU. Targeting its economy will be Israel’s top priority. However, the country can fulfill all its needs by increasing its ties with Russia, China, and other anti-West nations.


Abbas Hashemite – is a political observer and research analyst for regional and global geopolitical issues. He is currently working as an independent researcher and journalist, exclusively for “New Eastern Outlook”.

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