Gaza solidarity protest
© Chris McGrath/Getty ImagesA Gaza solidarity protest in Istanbul, Turkey.
In the second phase of restrictive measures, Türkiye suspended all export and import operations with Israel due to its "aggression against Palestine in violation of international law and human rights," the Turkish Trade Ministry announced late Thursday.

Previously, Türkiye restricted 54 product categories' exports to Israel on April 9, the ministry recalled, saying that despite this measure it is observed that the Israeli government continued its aggressive stance and the humanitarian tragedy in Palestine has worsened.

Nearly 35,000 Palestinian civilians, including 15,000 children, have lost their lives and approximately 78,000 Palestinian citizens have been injured as a result of Israel's attacks against Palestine in violation of international law and human rights, the ministry stated.

It said since Oct. 7, 2023, Türkiye has taken initiatives at the highest level and used all the tools of diplomacy to stop the clashes, prevent humanitarian losses and physical destruction, ensure a permanent cease-fire, and realize a two-state solution.

"Since the first day, our country has rushed to the aid of the people of Gaza, delivered tens of thousands of tons of humanitarian aid to the region by ships and planes, especially food, health and medical aid materials, evacuated thousands of patients and stood by our Palestinian brothers and sisters in these difficult days," the ministry said.

It added: "However, the massacre, humanitarian catastrophe and physical destruction caused by Israel continued, and the Israeli government ignored international ceasefire efforts and prevented humanitarian aid."

Türkiye will strictly and decisively implement these new measures until the Israeli government allows the uninterrupted and sufficient flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza, it noted.

Comment: It's notable the Turkey's conditions do not stipulate a ceasefire and are instead tied to aid. Perhaps it's because it knows Tel Aviv is unlikely to consider a ceasefire but there's a slim chance it will agree to a allow in the desperately needed aid.

The ministry also said necessary efforts are being coordinated between the Turkish Trade Ministry and the Palestinian Ministry of National Economy to ensure that "our Palestinian brothers and sisters who are forced to live under occupation are not affected by these restrictions."

"The Republic of Türkiye will continue to support the deserving cause of our Palestinian brothers and sisters, as it has done until today," it added.