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Erdogan: Trade Pause To Pressure Israel For Ceasefire

Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced several measures to be taken against Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Turkey’s decision to suspend trade with Israel had one singular purpose, which is to compel the Israeli government into a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

He made the remarks on Friday during a meeting with the board of directors of the Independent Industrialists and Businessmen Association in Istanbul, according to the Presidency’s website.

The President also noted that the government will coordinate and consult with the business community to manage the consequences of halting trade with Israel, Xinhua news agency reported.

Turkey on Thursday halted all trade activities with Israel due to the latter’s “non-stop violence” against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, according to the Turkish Trade Ministry.

Erdogan also said that this decision would set a precedent for other countries unsettled by the current situation.

Israel announces countermeasures

Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced several measures to be taken against Turkey following the latter’s decision to halt all trade activities with Israel due to “non-stop violence” against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

The Ministry said on Friday in a statement that in a discussion carried out by senior officials from the Foreign and Economy ministries, as well as the Israel Tax Authority, it was decided to work towards reducing any economic connection between Turkey and the West Bank and Gaza, Xinhua news agency reported.

Additionally, it was decided to take action in international economic forums to explore sanctions against Turkey for violating trade agreements, to create an alternative list for the Israeli economy across various sectors and products, and to support affected Israeli export sectors.

It noted that Turkey is the Palestinian Authority’s largest importing country.

According to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, in 2023, Israeli exports of goods to Turkey amounted to $1.57 billion, while Israeli imports from Turkey reached $4.61 billion.

Meanwhile, Israel filed a complaint to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) against Turkey for its decision to suspend trade, said a statement from Israel’s Economy Minister Nir Barkat.

Both Turkey and Israel are OECD member countries.

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