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    Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of his ruling party in Ordu, Turkey, Saturday, March 24, 2018

    Turkey Threatening Israel With Sanctions After Envoy's Recall - Reports

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    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has recalled the country's ambassadors to the US and Israel, accusing them of "state terror" and "genocide," referring to the situation in the Gaza Strip.

    "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],” Erdogan told journalists on the presidential plane while returning from a visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    According to Haaretz, Turkey will be the first hit by the sanctions, as its economy is having a tough time and the punitive measures could expand Turkey's trade deficit by nearly $2 billion.

    READ MORE: Only Int'l Boycott Can Stop Israel's Aggressive Actions - Turkish Analyst

    Turkey-Israel Trade Relations

    The countries are rather close trade partners, as  2.1 percent of Turkey’s exports go to Israel. Specifically, in 2016 this number stood at $2.96 billion (from a total export of $142.5 billion).

    READ MORE: Israel Expels Turkish Consul in Jerusalem Amid Erdogan-Netanyahu Rift Over Gaza 

    In the opposite direction, the country's imports from Israel are way less: in 2017, the gap was $1.9 billion. 

    Thus, the introduction of economic measures against Israel might lead to the expansion of Turkey's trade deficit by $1.9 billion.

    Diplomatic Relations, Gaza Issue

    The relations between Turkey and Israel are strained over the situation in the Gaza Strip, which turned into clashes on May 14 - because of the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem. The event ignited the protests along the Gaza border, called the Great March of Return. As a result of the clashes with the Israeli Defense Forces on May 14, at least 60 Palestinian protesters were killed and more than 2,400 injured.

    READ MORE: Turkey Urges Muslim States to Review Ties With Israel Amid Gaza Violence

    Israel, in turn, has blamed the erupted violence on Hamas, saying that the militants' provocations and actions along the border led to the aggravation of the security situation.

    Reacting to the Gaza events, Ankara announced a three-day mourning for those Palestinians killed during the protests.

    READ MORE: Turkey to Reconsider Economic Ties With Israel Amid Gaza Row

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    sanctions, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Israel, Turkey
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