Report: Turkey halts all trade with Israel to protest Gaza conflict

Turkey reportedly cut off all trade with Israel on Thursday, representing the latest move in the country’s protest against the war in Gaza. Turkey’s government, led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has yet to formally announce the decision, but members of the business community are already reacting to the potential fallout. Israel and Turkey traded approximately $6.8 billion worth of goods in 2023, mostly consisting of Turkish exports, according to Bloomberg News. “Erdogan is breaking agreements by blocking ports for Israeli imports and exports,” said Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “This is the behavior of a dictator who tramples the interests of the Turkish people and business community, while ignoring international trade agreements,” he added. Turkey has not announced the conditions under which trade might resume. “I have instructed the Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry to immediately engage with all relevant parties in the government to create alternatives for trade with Turkey, focusing on local production and imports from other countries. Israel will emerge with a strong and daring economy,” Katz continued. This expands on existing trade restrictions against Israel that the government announced last month. Israel has been at war with Hamas since Oct. 7, when the Palestinian terrorist organization sent fighters from Gaza into southern Israel and killed some 1,200 people and took more than 200 hostages. The economy is only one front in Turkey’s efforts against Israel, however. Erdogan’s government also agreed to join South Africa as a plaintiff in a United Nations court case accusing Israel of committing genocide in Gaza. Rising tensions between Israel and Turkey come as Israel faces a mounting threat of war with its nearby neighbors, namely Iran and its terrorist proxies in Lebanon and Yemen.