Erdogan: Turkey's IsraelTrade, Aimed, Truce

Turkish President Erdogan announces halt to trade with Israel to pressure for Gaza ceasefire and increased humanitarian aid. The move comes amid deteriorating Turkey-Israel relations and a humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Safak Costu
New Update
Erdogan: Turkey's IsraelTrade, Aimed, Truce

Erdogan: Turkey's IsraelTrade, Aimed, Truce

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Friday that Turkey's decision to halt trade with Israel was aimed at pressuring Israel to agree to a ceasefire in Gaza and increase humanitarian aid to the region. "We have taken some measures to force Israel to agree to a ceasefire and increase the amount of humanitarian aid to enter" Gaza, Erdogan stated.

Why this matters: The trade, aimed, truce has significant implications for the ongoing conflict in Gaza, as it may pressure Israel to reconsider its military actions and prioritize humanitarian aid. This move could also set a precedent for other countries to take similar actions, potentially altering the dynamics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The move comes amid deteriorating relations between Turkey and Israel. In April, Turkey restricted exports to Israel, covering 54 products with a trade volume of $9.5 billion. Erdogan emphasized that Turkey does not seek hostility or conflict in the region, saying, "We do not run after hostility or conflict in our region... We do not want to see conflict, blood or tears in our geography."

The decision comes as the Gaza Strip faces a humanitarian crisis caused by Israel's ongoing war against Hamas since October 7. The conflict has resulted in the deaths of 1,170 people, mostly civilians, and 34,600 people in Gaza, primarily women and children, according to the Hamas-run territory's health ministry. The United Nations and aid agencies have warned of an impending famine in the region.

Erdogan, a vocal advocate for the Palestinian cause, has been a harsh critic of Israel's offensive in Gaza. He has accused the Israeli government of "state terrorism" and branded Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the "butcher of Gaza". Turkey's trade action against Israel also came after domestic criticism, particularly from the Islam-based Yeniden Refah (New Welfare) Party, which had called for stronger measures against Israel.

In response to Israel's criticism of Turkey's trade restrictions, Erdogan stated, "We have one goal here, and that's to force the Netanyahu government, which went out of control with the unconditional military and diplomatic support of the West, to a ceasefire." He stressed that if a ceasefire is declared and adequate humanitarian aid is allowed into Gaza, Turkey's objective will be achieved.

Erdogan's announcement underscores the strained relations between Turkey and Israel, with Turkey leveraging trade to pressure Israel into a ceasefire and increased humanitarian assistance for Gaza. The Turkish president reiterated that the $9.5 billion trade door with Israel has been closed, emphasizing Turkey's commitment to the Palestinian cause and its determination to alleviate the suffering in Gaza.

Key Takeaways

  • Turkey halts trade with Israel to pressure for Gaza ceasefire and aid.
  • Trade restrictions cover 54 products worth $9.5 billion.
  • Erdogan accuses Israel of "state terrorism" and seeks humanitarian aid.
  • Turkey's move may set a precedent for other countries to take similar action.
  • Erdogan aims to force Israel to ceasefire and allow aid into Gaza.