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Ankara to keep up pressure on Israel via trade, diplomacy until Gaza massacre ends: Turkish president

"We are keeping our channels of communication open in our business community in the process of implementing our decision to suspend commercial transactions to force Israel, which has martyred 36,000 innocent people in Gaza, to cease-fire," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said.

Anadolu Agency WORLD
Published May 25,2024

Türkiye will continue to pressure Israel until it stops its war on the Gaza Strip, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Saturday.

"We will continue to put pressure on Israel in the areas of trade and diplomacy until the Netanyahu administration stops its massacres in Gaza," Erdoğan said at the General Assembly of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) in Istanbul.

He said Türkiye has halted all commercial activities with Israel, which has killed nearly 36,000 Palestinians in the blockaded enclave since last October, besides creating conditions of famine and reducing the territory to rubble.

Israel is accused of "genocide" at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which in its latest ruling has ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its operation in Rafah, a city in southern Gaza where more than a million displaced Palestinians had sought refuge.

The president also spoke of the country's economic goals and achievements, saying exports surpassed $255B, hitting a record-breaking $257.6B as of April.

"With a 4.5% growth rate, Türkiye ranks first in Europe, second in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, and fourth in G-20," he said.

Pointing out the goals of Ankara's economic program, the Turkish president said Türkiye's economic priority was to reduce inflation to single digits for permanent relief, with a focus on long-term stability to improve welfare.

"The annual current account deficit, which had reached $57 billion last year in May, decreased to $31.2 billion in March," Erdoğan said.

"Excluding gold and energy, the current account balance had a surplus of $36.1 billion annually. I believe the improvement in the current account deficit will continue," he added.

"We will enter a disinflationary period starting from the second half of the year. Market expectations strongly support our forecasts," the president said, adding: "We will not allow additional inflationary pressure through our fiscal policy."

"We stand by everyone who works for Türkiye, exports for it, increases their investments by trusting the Turkish economy, and supports the building of the Century of Türkiye," the Turkish leader said. "Hopefully, we will transform this painful period that the entire world is experiencing into a historical springboard for Türkiye and the Turkish economy."

Erdoğan said the government is implementing a new industrial policy, and will redirect funds to priority areas through its public savings and efficiency package.

Türkiye is supporting technology-focused investments in critical sectors, he said, adding that the country places great importance on achieving green and digital transformation.

"Türkiye's name is increasingly coming to the forefront in the search for production centers as an alternative to Asia," the president said.