Turkey Considering Cut-Off Of Economic Ties With Israel – OpEd


Turkey’s main newspaper reports that that nation’s government has told the Obama administration that Israel’s refusal to apologize for the Mavi Marmara killings will have serious repercussions.

It is contemplating completely severing economic ties with Israel, which is a sizable trading partner:

According to Hürriyet, among the reprisals being considered by Turkey if Israel does not apologize are the downgrading of diplomatic relations between the two countries to the level of second secretary, suspension of all economic and political ties, and an older threat: a visit by Erdoğan to the Gaza Strip. There is also no doubt that Turkey will be an enthusiastic supporter of the Palestinians’ initiative to win UN recognition of a Palestinian state.


Trade volume in 2010 was $3.5 billion.  In 2011, Turkey increased its level of exports to Israel by 20%.  Turkey is Israel’s second largest trade partner overall after the U.S.  2008 was the highest year of Israeli tourism with 500,000 visitors.  Turkey has been one of the most popular tourist destinations for Israelis though lately the numbers have declined significantly.  Though a trade ban would hurt both countries, it would hurt Israel not just economically, but it would add resonance to the BDS movement world-wide.

The Israeli government refuses to reopen its decision and has developed the cold-heart of Pharaoh as far as the matter is concerned.  This Globes report truly paints a picture of Israeli disdain for Turkey’s prime minister that borders of the childish and petulant.  I’d guess that Danny Ayalon had to be the source for this as he seems to be one of the most infantile and petulant officials in the foreign ministry:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision not to issue an apology is final. Jerusalem believes that such an apology will not lead to an improvement in relations with Ankara, and will only strengthen the political standing of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Turkey and Israel have made attempts to meet each other halfway in the past few months, but the perception grew in Jerusalem that Erdoğan was constantly upping the ante. His behavior on the international stage, not just on the narrow question of Israel-Turkish relations, indicates that he suffers from megalomania, according to Israeli assessments. Because of this, decision makers in Jerusalem came to the conclusion that an Israeli apology would fail to damp down the flames of the dispute with Ankara, and would instead give Erdoğan more mileage without Israel deriving any benefit.

When the likes of Danny Ayalon and Avigdor Lieberman are accusing others of megalomania you witness Israeli foreign policy at its most pathetic.  This isn’t Andorra or Costa Rica we’re talking about.  You don’t just thumb your nose at one of the most powerful players in your region as they have.

Originally published at Tikun Olam

Richard Silverstein

Richard Silverstein is an author, journalist and blogger, with articles appearing in Haaretz, the Jewish Forward, Los Angeles Times, the Guardian’s Comment Is Free, Al Jazeera English, and Alternet. His work has also been in the Seattle Times, American Conservative Magazine, Beliefnet and Tikkun Magazine, where he is on the advisory board. Check out Silverstein's blog at Tikun Olam, one of the earliest liberal Jewish blogs, which he has maintained since February, 2003.

4 thoughts on “Turkey Considering Cut-Off Of Economic Ties With Israel – OpEd

  • August 26, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    No Problem then for Turkey the World’s 16th biggest economy with currently the fastest developing GDP on the planet! As for the “Undeclared terrorist Zionist State” Turkey’s slamming the door shut on Israel’s face will mean the loss of the second most important ally of the intransigent toy state. Turks Secular and Pious alike will rejoice increasing the ME trade with troublesome Israel’s Arab neighbors by billions of Dollars as well as increasing the trade volume with Iran. The ‘shoe box-sized Israel’ in the midst of a sea of hatred has everything to worry about in terms of her precarious existence. In the mean time the rock solid Turkey is not going anywhere and will only further isolate America’s Zionist ‘Welfare State’

  • August 27, 2011 at 2:18 am

    Israel did nothing wrong and therefore should not apologize. Levo calls Israel “shoe box sized” in the midst of a sea of hatred. Maybe so. But I am going to bet on David with 5 smooth stones over the uncircumcised philistines who are surrounding him. Turkey is now aligning with the muslim ME and Russia … as prophesized. Come quickly Lord Jesus

    • March 3, 2012 at 9:46 pm

      The Lord Jesus has nothing to do with a morally bancrup murderous immoral state like Israel whose sole means of holding on to occupied Palestinian lands have been manipulation, murder and mayhem in the ME! The World’s biggest headache microcopic Israel may drown in the sea of hatred before anybody may get a chance to extracite the blood-stained terrorist Zionist State?

  • September 4, 2011 at 5:10 am

    None of this is new the fanatics in Ankara have shown their true colors many years ago. Thank god for the GFC, soon Angie Merkel is going to stop paying the bills and underwriting the EU. And we may well take the Germans advice and buy or lease a Greek Island.

    And establish a Abraham Two air base/FOB to have the capability of strategic denial and force projection, to block the Dardanelles. Agios Efstratios Island is ideal.

    F-16’s, Arrow 3, Popeye Turbo, Barak missiles, paratroopers, special forces, UAV’s, Harop, Spike NLOS, C-RAM Phalanx Cannons, MK-44, MK-19 mines, claymores, steel and concrete barriers, razor wire, sensors, sea mines, bunker systems.

    If I buy it or lease it is mine and I can do what I like with it.


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