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Turkey Halts All Trade With Israel As Relations At Breaking Point

For months, relations between Turkey and Israel have been on the brink of breaking point. Already there has been the recalling of ambassadors, inflammatory rhetoric exchanged between leaders, and then things got more serious when Turkey a month ago moved to restrict 54 products from being exported to Israel until a Gaza ceasefire can be reached.

But Turkey’s government on Thursday has taken the next big step, halting all exports and imports to and from Israel, according to Bloomberg which cited Turkish government officials. It has begun effective today, but Ankara has yet to officially announce the dramatic move.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz has confirmed that the breaking headlines are accurate. He said that Ankara has already begun to block Israeli imports and exports at Turkish ports.

Katz has ordered the foreign ministry to immediately pursue alternatives for trade which focus on “local production and imports from other countries.”

Bilateral trade volume between the two countries, which prior to Oct.7 were enjoying warmer relations, had stood at $5.4 billion last year.

  • Turkey sells $5B-$7B of exports to Israel every year.
  • Israel sells $2B-$3B of exports to Turkey every year.

But President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been unrelenting in his attacks on Israel and directed against Netanyahu personally. 

In March, he went so far as to suggest the Israeli prime minster should be assassinated for overseeing war crimes in Gaza and against Muslims.

 In a prior election rally the Turkish president vowed to “send [Netanyahu] to Allah to take care of him, make him miserable and curse him.”

This week Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan announced Turkey will join South Africa’s case against Israel before the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC).

Source: Bloomberg

So it appears at this point Turkey is waging both full-scale diplomatic and economic war on Israel. This is unprecedented for a NATO member, which also happens to have the second largest military within the Western military alliance, and is sure to put Western officials in an awkward spot.

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Zero Hedges

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