News / Europe

Turkey Slaps More Sanctions on Israel After UN Report

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (file photo)
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (file photo)
Dorian Jones

Turkey has escalated the diplomatic war with Israel by ending military trade with its former ally and threatening  further sanctions.  The crisis centers on last year's killing of Turkish activists on a ship seeking to break Israel's blockade of Gaza.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan increased sanctions on Israel by announcing the immediate suspension of military trade.

He told reporters Turkey is totally suspending trade, military and defense industry relations.

Observers say the move will hurt Israel's defense industry, with bilateral trade estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.  But the Turkish armed forces may also be hurt as Israel is a supplier of drones, which Turkey has increasingly used in its fight against the Kurdish rebel group, the PKK.

The escalating crisis centers on Ankara's demand for an apology for the killing by Israeli forces of nine Turks who were part of a flotilla last year seeking to break Israel's economic blockade of Gaza.  But Israel refuses to apologize, saying its forces acted in self-defense.

Erdogan launched a verbal assault on Turkey's former ally.

He described the Israeli attack as "savagery" and accused Israel of acting like "a spoiled boy" in the region.

Erdogan said Turkey's naval presence would be stepped up in the region and said further sanctions could follow.  Ankara has also expelled the Israeli ambassador and other high-ranking diplomats, who have been ordered to leave by Wednesday.  

Until now, trade had escaped the deepening diplomatic crisis.  But with non-military trade worth around $3.5 billion, Israel's central bank chief Stanley Fischer warned its economy could be hit hard by a trade war.

The crisis escalated following the publication of a U.N. report about the flotilla violence.  The report criticized Israel for excessive force in its raid, but it said Israel's embargo against Gaza is legal.

Ankara rejected the U.N. report.  Its publication last Friday was the deadline given by Ankara to Jerusalem for its demands to be met for an apology, compensation for families of those killed, and the lifting of Israel's economic embargo against Gaza.   

Observers warn the diplomatic crisis between Turkey and Israel could deepen further with reports Mr. Erdogan is planning to visit Gaza in mid-September.  Turkey's Islamic-rooted ruling AK Party has strong ties with the Hamas leadership of Gaza.

 

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More