Erdoğan signals economic sanctions against Israel after elections

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Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan / AFP PHOTO / RONEN ZVULUN AND OZAN KOSE

Amid a diplomatic row between Ankara and Tel Aviv over the killing of more than 60 Palestinians last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday said Turkey would take economic steps against Israel after elections on June 24.

“We will evaluate our relations, especially economic and trade relations [with Israel] again. We will take steps in this direction after the elections [on June 24],” Erdoğan told a group of journalists on the presidential plane returning from a visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Recalling that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) had taken a decision to recommend a boycott of Israeli products, Erdoğan said, “I hope OIC countries will take steps in line with the recommendation.”

Last week President Erdoğan called an extraordinary summit of the OIC and a large public rally to protest the Israeli government for the killing of over 60 Palestinians on May 14.

The rally took place on Friday 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 that 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.

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 May 17.

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım on May 15 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 May 14 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 Erdoğan, Israelnationalnews.com reported on Tuesday.

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