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25 June, 2024
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Turkey blocks exports to Israel amid Gaza conflict

Large protests erupted in several Turkish cities


Turkey announced it's blocking exports of 54 different product categories to Israel until a ceasefire is declared in Gaza. This move comes as a response to Israel's military operations in Gaza.

Turkey's Ministry of Trade stated that these measures would take immediate effect following the rejection of Turkey's request to participate in aid deliveries to Gaza. The restrictions include iron and steel products, construction equipment, and machinery.

Critics, including opposition parties and media outlets in Turkey, have accused President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government of failing to impose any trade restrictions on Israel during its military operations in Gaza for six months, despite rhetoric against Israel. This political move seems to have backfired for Erdogan, as his party suffered significant losses in recent local elections.

"These measures, approved by our president, will be implemented step by step without delay until Israel declares a ceasefire and allows unimpeded humanitarian aid to Gaza," emphasized the Turkish Foreign Minister.

Meanwhile, Israel's Foreign Minister, Israel Katz, pledged to respond to Turkey's "unilateral violation" of trade agreements by imposing its own trade restrictions. Katz criticized Erdogan for sacrificing Turkey's economic interests to support Hamas, accusing the group of violence against civilians.

In response to the announcement, large protests erupted in several Turkish cities, including Istanbul. The violent dispersal of one protest, where a police officer was seen slapping a protester, drew widespread condemnation. Analysts warn that Erdogan's handling of the situation could carry significant political costs.

According to Turkey's Statistical Institute, exports to Israel totaled $5.43 billion in 2023, down from $7.03 billion in 2022.

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