Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has no intention of cooling tensions with Israel. After expelling Israel's ambassador to Ankara, and suspending military agreements, he has said that he intends to impose more sanctions against Israel, which he claims is acting like the spoiled child of the Middle East.
In an interview with the Turkish media, Erdogan said, "Trade relations, military relations, defense industry - these we will suspend. These will be completely frozen and that process will be followed also by very different sanctions." He subsequently qualified this statement and said he was only relating to trade with Israeli government bodies.He added that Turkey would increase its naval activity in the eastern Mediterranean.
Commenting on media reports about his planned visit to Gaza next week, Erdogan said that he still considering whether to visit Gaza, and that it depended on talks with Egypt. A visit to Gaza would break Israel's blockade. Erdogan has previously said that he wants to visit Gaza, but the trip was postponed indefinitely. He apparently now wants to keep his promise in view of the diplomatic crisis with Israel and the pending UN General Assembly declaration of a Palestinian state.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 6, 2011
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