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Israel trade freeze aimed at forcing Gaza truce: Erdogan

Turkey's Erdogan to meet Biden at White House on May 9: official
Source: Video Screenshot

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday said Turkey’s move to halt trade with Israel was designed to force the country to a ceasefire over Gaza.

The decision, announced on Thursday, is the latest indication of deteriorating relations between the two countries.

“We have taken some measures to force Israel to agree to a ceasefire and increase the amount of humanitarian aid to enter” Gaza, Erdogan told a group of businessmen in Istanbul.

“We will oversee the consequences of this step we have taken in coordination and consultation with our business world.”

Already in April Turkey, one of the few Muslim-majority nations to recognise Israel, announced it was restricting exports to Israel, covering 54 products from iron and steel to jet fuel.

“We do not run after hostility or conflict in our region,” said Erdogan. “We do not want to see conflict, blood or tears in our geography.

“We know now that we did the right thing.”

The Gaza Strip is suffering a humanitarian crisis caused by Israel’s war against Hamas that has been raging since October 7, with the United Nations and aid agencies warning of impending famine.

The war started with Hamas’s unprecedented October 7 attack on Israel that resulted in the deaths of 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

Israel estimates that 129 captives seized by militants during their attack remain in Gaza. The military says 34 of them are dead.

Israel’s retaliatory offensive against Hamas has killed more than 34,600 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry.


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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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