Turkey halts all trade with Israel, cites worsening Palestinian situation

FILE PHOTO: Turkey's President Erdogan

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey stopped all exports and imports to and from Israel as of Thursday, the Turkish trade ministry said, citing "worsening humanitarian tragedy" in the Palestinian territories.

"Export and import transactions related to Israel have been stopped, covering all products," Turkey's trade ministry said in a statement.

"Turkey will strictly and decisively implement these new measures until the Israeli Government allows an uninterrupted and sufficient flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza."

The two countries had a trade volume of $6.8 billion in 2023.

Turkey last month imposed trade restrictions on Israel over what it said was Israel's refusal to allow Ankara to take part in aid air-drop operations for Gaza and its offensive on the enclave.

Earlier on Thursday, Israel's foreign minister said that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan was breaking agreements by blocking ports for Israeli imports and exports.

"This is how a dictator behaves, disregarding the interests of the Turkish people and businessmen, and ignoring international trade agreements," Israel's Foreign Minister Israel Katz posted on social media platform X.

Katz said he instructed the foreign ministry to work to create alternatives for trade with Turkey, focusing on local production and imports from other countries.

(Reporting by Ece Toksabay in Ankara and Ari Rabinovitch in Jerusalem; Editing by Andrew Heavens, Toby Chopra and Diane Craft)