Israel says Turkey’s Erdogan is breaking agreements by blocking ports for trade

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Foreign Minister Israel Katz in Jerusalem, February 19, 2024. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)
Foreign Minister Israel Katz in Jerusalem, February 19, 2024. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

After reports emerge that Turkey stopped all trade with Israel, Foreign Minister Israel Katz accuses Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of “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,” writes Katz on X.

He says he instructed Director General Yaakov Blitshtein to “immediately engage with all relevant parties in the government to create alternatives for trade with Turkey, focusing on local production and imports from other countries.”

“Israel will emerge with a strong and daring economy,” Katz pledges. “We Win, and They Lose.”

Israel and Turkey have free trade agreements from the mid-1990s that are now being violated.

Last month, Turkey announced export trade restrictions to Israel on 54 products including cement, steel, aluminum, iron construction materials and equipment, in response to the war in the Gaza Strip.

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