The Turkish Food, Agriculture, and Livestock minister on Wednesday slammed his Israeli counterpart after he announced that Israel had frozen agricultural product imports from Turkey.
Minister Ahmet Esref Fakibaba, responding to his Israeli counterpart Uri Ariel’s twitter post, told Anadolu Agency that Israel’s move would have no effect on the Turkish economy.
“Our country, whose position as an agricultural exporter is well-established and which has agricultural trade relations with numerous countries, cannot be conceivably afraid of import freezes by such a small country as Israel,” he said, explaining that Israel had a very small share in the Turkish agricultural trade, constituting less than two percent of it.
Fakibaba said Turkey’s agriculture had a dynamic structure that no longer faced any difficulties in finding alternative markets in the world.
“Therefore, it should be known that a small state’s attempts at subduing Turkey through such threats is a futile effort. Israel should know Turkey cannot be deterred by such threats.”
The minister also stressed that no economic concern was bigger than Turkey’s and Turkish people’s love for Quds (Jerusalem) and their enthusiasm to defend the right cause of Palestinians.
“It is completely unacceptable for the minister of a state — that has adopted the policy of persecuting the Palestinian people and that is so unfeeling as to go to every length in this direction — to attempt to threaten Turkey over agriculture.”
At least 62 Palestinians were martyred and thousands more injured by Israeli forces along the Gaza border Monday.
Thousands of Palestinians gathered on the Gaza Strip’s eastern border Monday to take part in mass rallies to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Israel's establishment — an event Palestinians refer to as the "Nakba" or "the Catastrophe" and to protest the relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Since the border rallies began on March 30, more than 100 Palestinian demonstrators have been martyred by cross-border Israeli gunfire, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
Last week, the Israeli government said the ongoing border protests constituted a “state of war” in which international humanitarian law did not apply.