Tanker carries oil to Israel from Turkish port despite diplomatic row

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during rally in solidarity with Palestinians after Israeli aggression against civilians on Gaza border, on May 18, 2018 at Yenikapi fairgrounds in Istanbul, Turkey. The rally was launched under the theme of "Condemning Oppression, Supporting al-Quds [Jerusalem]." Kayhan Ozer / Anadolu Agency

Observers have revealed that tankers are continuing to carry oil from a Turkish port to Israel despite the fact that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called an extraordinary summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and a large public rally to protest the Israeli government for killing over 60 Palestinians on May 14, the Cumhuriyet daily reported.

Speaking to a crowd gathered in Istanbul’s Yenikapı Square on Friday, Erdoğan urged Muslims to unite against the oppression of Palestinians at the hands of Israel.

The rally took place ahead of the OIC emergency meeting in Istanbul which concluded that an international protection force must be developed for the Palestinian people. The OIC also declared that action must be taken against countries and individuals who follow the example of the US in recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Despite Erdoğan’s move to hold the summit and rally to protest Israel and the US, TankerTrackers.com revealed that an oil tanker had carried more than a million barrels of oil from the Turkish port of Ceyhan to the Israeli port of Ashkelon on May 19.

“The POLIEGOS departed the KRG berth in Ceyhan earlier this evening with 1.037 million barrels and ‘OPL Port Said’ as destination; which most of the time ends up being Ashkelon, Israel. Meanwhile, a diplomatic row took place this week between Turkey and Israel due to Gaza,” TankerTrackers.com tweeted on May 18.

“Looks like she did a hard turn towards Ashkelon after all. This is the first transfer of crude oil (1 million barrels) from a Turkish port to Israel we have identified since the diplomatic row began a few days ago. Trade deals remain ironclad regardless of geopolitics,” TankerTrackers.com said in a tweet on May 19.

A motion proposing the annulment of economic, military and political agreements between Turkey and Israel was voted down by President Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its election ally, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), in Parliament on Thursday.

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım on Tuesday called on Muslim countries to reassess their ties with Israel, the day after Israeli security forces killed over 60 Palestinians during protests on the Gaza border.

President Erdoğan on Monday called Israel a “terror state” and added that “the assault on the Gaza protesters exposed Israel’s ugly face, one that is carrying out genocide in Gaza.”

Israeli Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel ordered a freeze on the import of agricultural products from Turkey following the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador from Ankara and statements made by Turkish Erdoğan, Israelnationalnews.com reported on Tuesday.

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