Israeli supermarkets boycott Turkish products
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News | 6/14/2010 12:00:00 AM |
As the rift between Turkey and Israel widens in the aftermath of the deadly Israeli assault that killed eight Turks and one Turkish American, several supermarket chains in Israel decide to boycott Turkish goods. The ‘Mega’ and ‘Rami Levy’ supermarkets announce they will stop using Turkish products in goods that bear their own private label
Several local supermarket chains in Israel have decided to boycott Turkish goods due to the growing rift between the two countries. The Blue Square firm, which operates the “Mega” supermarket chain in Israel, and Rami Levy, who owns an eponymous chain of stores, have decided to look elsewhere for pasta and flour products among others, reported Israel daily Haaretz on Monday.
The boycott comes after Israeli forces attacked a Turkish aid flotilla headed for the Gaza Strip, killing eight Turkish activists, another who was a U.S. citizen of Turkish decent and injuring dozens on May 31. Tens of thousands of Turkish citizens took to the streets to protest Israel, and government officials, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, have accused Israel of state-sponsored terrorism.
"For reasons of ideology and conscience, it would be unacceptable for us to do anything when the Turkish people behave this way. This is the minimum that we can do," Rami Levy was quoted by Haaretz.
[HH] May cost nearly $100 million
The decision to boycott Turkish goods is predicted to cost Turkish companies $93 million in sales, according to a report by Channel 10 news in Israel.
"When I see Turkey's behavior toward Israel this makes me oppose them. I want to give them a taste of their own medicine,” Levy was quoted as saying by Arutz Sheva news.
Supersol, currently the largest retail chain in Israel, said on Sunday that it is also evaluating its relationship with Turkish firms.
Blue Square said its business relationships with Turkish companies have been suffering for over a month. Both Blue Square and Rami Levy have said they would stop using Turkish products in goods they sell that bear their own private label.
"The Mega chain is heeding the voice of the public and has decided to stop importing pasta and flour products from Turkey under its own label and will seek alternative sources for its products," Blue Square announced.
However some Turkish products that are under their own brand name will remain on the shelves. This has drawn criticism from other supermarket chains.
"Rami Levy has many products on his shelves that are made in Turkey, under different brands. If he really is boycotting Turkish items, he should not only remove products from Turkey under his private label," Rafi Sheffer, the chief executive of Brand For You, a competitor of Levy, told Haaretz.