UPDATE 1-Turkish exporters seek workarounds after Israel trade halt, sources say

Author Logo | Fri, 03 May 2024 10:11:56 GMT

(Adds quotes from exporters)

By Ceyda Caglayan

ISTANBUL, May 3 (Reuters) – Turkish exporters with firm orders are looking at ways to send their goods to Israel via third countries after Turkey halted bilateral trade, four export company owners told Reuters, saying the decision had caught them by surprise.

Trade Minister Omer Bolat said on Friday that Turkey will not resume trade with Israel, worth around $7 billion a year, until a permanent ceasefire is secured in the war in Gaza with unhindered humanitarian aid flowing to Palestinians there.

Attending Bolat’s press conference, the owner of a household goods exporter said the trade halt had wrongfooted them, with goods held up at customs, leaving them seeking alternative routes.

“We struggled with customs throughout the day and did not understand what the problem was. The system was closed before the ban decision was announced,” he said.

The owner of a food exporter said the halt in trade also meant blocking goods destined for the Palestinian territories, which have to pass through Israeli customs.


“The Palestinian people will also suffer,” he said. “We will see if we can send the orders via Egypt, Jordan or Lebanon. I don’t know how we’ll get out of this situation.”

The head of a chocolate and confectionery exporter said his company had products produced specifically for the Israeli market, with packaging entirely in Hebrew.

“It is a big material loss for us. There are companies in Israel from which we have receivables and to whom we owe money. What will happen to these receivables when trade stops?” he said, adding that they would seek a solution after talks with their trade partners in Israel.

Turkey is the first of Israel’s key trade partners to halt exports and imports over the war in Gaza. (Reporting by Ceyda Caglayan; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Sharon Singleton and Kevin Liffey)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2024. Click For Restrictions – https://agency.reuters.com/en/copyright.html