Israel accuses Erdoğan of acting like a ‘dictator’ over trade ban

Turkey is blocking Israeli imports and exports


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attends a joint press conference with Ukrainian President at the Dolmabahce Presidental office in Istanbul on March 8, 2024. (Photo by OZAN KOSE / AFP) (Photo by OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images)

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday of acting like a “dictator” by blocking the country’s ports to Israeli imports and exports as part of a trade war.

“This is how a dictator behaves, disregarding the interests of the Turkish people and businessmen, and ignoring international trade agreements,” Katz wrote on the social media platform X.

Katz said he instructed his office to devise alternative trade routes that bypass Turkey while focusing on boosting local production and imports from other international partners.

Erdoğan, whose ruling Justice and Development Party took a thumping at the polls in local elections on March 31, has been displaying open hostility to the Jewish state and support for Hamas since the terrorist organisation started the October 7 war by invading Israel.

Also on Thursday, Erdoğan hit out at the response to the protests currently taking place on US college campuses.

Erdoğan alleged that “conscientious students and academics, including anti-Zionist Jews” were facing “violence, cruelty, suffering, and even torture” from authorities for opposing Israeli actions. He claimed some were being “sacked and lynched” for supporting the Palestinians.

“The limits of Western democracy are drawn by Israel’s interests,” the Turkish leader added, accusing Western nations of labelling any criticism of Israel as “anti-democratic” and “antisemitic”.

Katz criticised Ankara at the end of April for inviting Ismail Haniyeh, the head of Hamas’s “political” bureau, to stay in the country.

Tensions between the two countries were also aggravated after a Turkish terrorist carried out an attack in Jerusalem this week.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive