TURKEY – The Turkish Ministry of Trade announced on May 3 that it will stop all trade with Israel due to the ongoing conflict in and around the country.

This suspension includes exports from Turkey to Israel and imports of Israeli products into Turkey, significantly affecting the trade relationship between the two nations.

Turkey’s primary export to Israel is tomatoes, valued at USD 38.6 million in 2022, while Israel exports tropical fruits to Turkey, valued at USD 10.6 million in the same year.

Trade between the two countries amounted to USD 6.8 billion in 2023, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute.

The ban also applies to transshipment cargo from third countries passing through Israel or Turkey and any empty containers set to be loaded to or from Israel.

The Turkish government has not specified an end date for these restrictions, stating they will remain until Israel allows an “uninterrupted and sufficient flow” of aid into Gaza.

Shipping Companies Respond

Shipping company Maersk has responded to the situation by informing customers that any bookings between Israel and Turkey not yet loaded or bookings using Turkey as a transshipment hub will face changes.

Maersk will either change the destination or cancel the booking following the new restrictions. Additionally, bookings already at sea will be redirected back to their origin or nearby hubs.

“Our teams are working hard to find the best possible solutions for customers’ cargo, and we will communicate all contingency details with you as soon as possible, including the terms of change of destination and cancellation,” the Danish company said in a statement.

Turkish Trade Minister Omer Bolat criticized Israel’s “uncompromising attitude” towards achieving a ceasefire, as well as the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Gaza city of Rafah.

“Turkey has suspended all export and import with Israel until a permanent ceasefire is established and the aid into Gaza is allowed without any interruption,” Bolat stated.

 

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