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Erdogan: ‘Severing trade relations with Israel was necessary’

May 4, 2024 at 10:25 am

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan makes statements after receiving the members of the Board of Directors of the Independent Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (MUSIAD) at the Dolmabahce Palace working office in Istanbul, Turkiye on May 03, 2024. [TUR Presidency/Murat Cetinmuhurdar – Anadolu Agency]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed the annual trade volume with Israel was $9.5 billion, however, his country considered this trade non-existent and started a new phase of severing trade relations.

The Turkish president added in statements to reporters after Friday prayers: “The developments taking place by Israel against the Palestinians cannot be accepted. So far, Israel has killed about 40,000 Palestinians… As Muslims, we cannot remain silent about these crimes.”

“The step of severing trade relations with Israel was necessary, and it was taken. The annual trade volume with Israel was $9.5 billion. We considered this trade non-existent, and we began a new phase,” he explained.

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Erdogan relayed: “During my meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in America last year on the sidelines of the UN meetings, I told him our positions and the steps that must be taken, but Netanyahu is ruthless, and his lack of mercy is used against the Palestinians through massacres, and we could not be patient any longer.”

Erdogan pointed out: “Some political parties in Turkiye were attacking us before the elections, regarding relations with Israel, and the attacks were unjustified… We were patient until the elections ended, and we have now taken the decision to completely sever trade relations with Israel.”

Turkiye officially announced the severing of all trade relations with Israel. It stressed that it would not withdraw the decision until ensuring that humanitarian aid supplies to the Gaza Strip were not interrupted.

The Turkish Ministry of Trade issued a statement that Ankara had previously restricted the export of 54 groups of goods to Israel.

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