Turkey suspends trade relations with Israel over operations in Gaza

Turkey has suspended all trade with Israel over its offensive in Gaza, citing the “worsening humanitarian tragedy” in the strip.

Turkey announced on Thursday that the measures would be in place until Israel allows an “uninterrupted and sufficient flow” of aid into Gaza.

Trade between the two countries was worth almost 7 billion dollars last year.

Israel’s foreign minister accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of acting like a “dictator”.

Israel Katz said on X that Mr Erdogan was disregarding the interests of the Turkish people and businesses and ignoring international trade agreements.

He added that he had instructed the foreign ministry to find alternatives for trade with Turkey, with a focus on local production and imports from other countries.

Turkey insists that the trade suspension covered “all products” and would be decisively implemented

In 1949, Turkey became the first Muslim-majority country to recognize Israel.

However, relations have since worsened in recent decades.

In 2010, Turkey broke off diplomatic ties with Israel after 10 pro-Palestinian Turkish activists were killed in clashes with Israeli commandos who boarded a Turkish-owned ship trying to break Israel’s maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Relations were restored in 2016, but both countries expelled each other’s top diplomats two years later in a dispute over Israel’s killing of Palestinians amid protests on the Gaza-Israel border.