Turkey to review economic, trade ties with Israel after June elections: Erdoğan
Hande Fırat - SARAJEVO
With the decision of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to impose an embargo on Israeli products, Turkey will also review its economic ties with Israel after the upcoming early June 24 elections, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on May 20.
“I hope the OIC counties will put the decision of the embargo into practice. After all, there will be no way to get any products from them anymore. Of course, we will assess the situation as well. As Turkey, we will evaluate our ties, particularly economic and trade, with them [Israel]. We have an upcoming election. We will take steps in this direction after the elections,” he told a group of journalists on his way from Bosnia-Herzegovina to Turkey.
He recalled that the OIC had urged the United Nations to establish a peace force to protect Palestinians similar to the one in Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina years ago, adding that they had also agreed on an investigation commission.
“We think that this will deter them and it will not be easy for Israel to fire at the United Nations forces,” Erdoğan said.
The 57-member OIC held an extraordinary summit in Istanbul on May 18 to discuss the recent Israeli violence against Palestinian protesters in the Gaza Strip. Since rallies in Gaza kicked off on March 30, scores of Palestinian demonstrators have been killed and thousands were injured by Israeli troops deployed along the other side of the border.
Turkey has responded to the violence by asking the Israeli ambassador in Ankara to leave the country, while also recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Israel “for consultations.”
Elaborating on U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent statement on ending aid sent to northwestern Syria, Erdoğan said Russians are deployed there, hence why Trump’s statement is not “coherent” with the reality on the field.
Opposition candidate’s extradition claim groundless: Erdoğan
Erdoğan stated that claims made by the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) presidential candidate Muharrem İnce who said U.S. officials had contacted him about the extradition of Fethullah Gülen, the leader of the network that orchestrated the 2016 coup attempt, were groundless.
“Why would the Americans call Mr. İnce? Why would they call someone that is not an interlocutor or has no authority on the extradition issue,” he said.
Refuting İnce’s claim that the evidences sent to the U.S. authorities for the extradition of Gülen were merely newspaper clippings, the president said the documents were all from court cases and indictments.
İnce previously claimed that U.S. officials informed him that no proper extradition request was sent regarding Gülen.