Turkiye Suspends All Trade With Israel in Surprise New Blow; Israel Threatens Retaliation

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Last night, Bloomberg broke the story that Turkiye has suspended all trade with Israel. The Bloomberg account noted that Turkiye had announced the day before that it was joining South Africa in its genocide case against Israel.

A later Financial Times story provides official confirmation after Bloomberg cited “two high official” providing the scoop. From the Financial Times:

Turkey has halted trade with Israel as it again accused the country of stoking a “humanitarian disaster” in Gaza, marking the latest sign of deepening tensions between the two nations.

Ankara’s trade ministry late on Thursday said all export and import transactions related to Israel had been stopped and would not resume until the Jewish state “allows an uninterrupted and sufficient flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza”.

Ankara in April sanctioned exports in 54 important categories of goods but this latest move will disrupt bilateral trade worth more than $7bn a year. A

Even though Turkiye is depicting the move as temporary, it is conditioning the reversal on Israel allowing adequate humanitarian aid into Gaza, which no way, no how is going to happen. Israel has escalated from sniping Gazans running to get food and supplies from aid deliveries to leaving food-can-like explosives about that go boom on the attempt to open them:

Interestingly, this development is getting varying play in the media. It’s now the lead story at the BBC, but below the fold at the Financial Times and nowhere to be found at the Wall Street Journal. The Financial Times and the Twitterverse speculate that this move is due to Erdogan’s party having performed markedly worse in March elections than expected, and his inaction on Gaza was a big reason why. Erdogan has made multiple rousing speeches in Ankara to very large and enthusiastic crowds, depicting Hamas as freedom fighters, seeking to give the impression that Turkiye might Do Something. The sometimes excitable Scott Ritter read it this way. Erdogan also hosted Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Turkiye in April But the normally wily Erdogan looks to have misplayed this one and is now changing course.

Turkiye in 2023 was only Israel’s #7 trade partner, but its relative importance may have increased of late with Houthi shelling of ships, since Turkiye presumably already conducts a lot of this exchange over land routes and could shift more that way if necessary. Nevertheless, the original Bloomberg account showed that Turkiye-Israel trade has already taken a hit even before this sanction. One wonders how much was due to the big 4Q contraction of the Israel economy:

Iran Observer points out that Turkiye provides unspecified metal supplies that Israel needs for weapons so this move may indeed inflict some damage. The original Bloomberg story said Turkiye’s biggest export to Israel is iron and steel. It isn’t clear if these are the metals Israel allegedly so keenly needs or other ones

Israel has threatened to retaliate. With Turkiye-Israel being over 3/4 skewed toward exports to Israel, one wonders Israel could strike back. Cutting off trade would seem to forestall meaningful economic retaliation. Bloomberg said that Israel’s biggest export to Turkiye was “refined oil products”. Presumably Turkiye can get those many places, such as India, which is a leading refiner and shipper of Russian crude. Admittedly there will be some hassle and higher costs in any switchover.

The US needs Turkiye’s support or at least acquiescence for its Ukraine misadventure so the idea of the US retaliating on behalf of Israel risks Turkiye imposing new measures, the most extreme of which would be limiting or denying access to the critical Incirlik air base. Recall Turkiye’s lease gives Turkiye much more control than is typical of US airbases abroad. The reason for Ritter’s enthusiasm for Erdogan’s bold talk was that Turkiye is the only actor in the region who has the military clout to bring Israel to heel (without causing a nuclear war or destroying many Gulf oil fields).

In other words, if Israel further presses Turkiye, say with a stunt like an assassination, it risks the worst possible outcome, of Turkiye moving into formal opposition to Israel. The last thing the US and Israel needs is Turkiye lining up with Iran, Hezbollah, the Houthis, and Hamas. Even soft support or the threat of it would be a further and very large setback.

And it is not as if Turkiye and Isreal had such a great relationship before that. Relevant parts of the BBC account:

In 1949, Turkey was the first Muslim-majority country to recognise Israel. But relations have worsened in recent decades.

In 2010, Turkey broke off diplomatic ties with Israel after 10 pro-Palestinian Turkish activists were killed in clashes with Israeli commandos who boarded a Turkish-owned ship trying to break Israel’s maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Relations were restored in 2016, but both countries expelled each other’s top diplomats two years later in a dispute over Israel’s killing of Palestinians amid protests on the Gaza-Israel border.

Bloomberg noted:

Israel and Turkey restored diplomatic ties last August after a decade of tensions and were exploring ways to increase cooperation until Hamas launched its Oct. 7 attack on the Jewish state, sparking the war.

The BBC also includes the handwave that the infamous pier will be ready real soon, yessiree, and then adds: “However, the UN says a maritime corridor can never be a substitute for delivery by land, and that land routes are the only way to bring in the bulk of supplies needed.”

It’s doubtful that the US can bribe Erdogan into relenting. The long-lived leader seems to regard getting credibly tough with Israel as essential to his political survival. And Erdogan just went through a round of concession-extraction over Turkiye’s vote to admit Sweden to NATO. So the low-hanging fruit has already been provided. And that process took a very long time, when delay in relieving this trade embargo will increase the pain.

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  1. Ralan Boxdale

    It’s doubtful that the US can bribe Erdogan into relenting. The long-lived leader seems to regard getting credibly tough with Israel as essential to his political survival.

    This is the key difference with the majority of the other Muslim states. Turkey is a democracy. Ergodan is answerable to his voters. Only autocracies or military dictatorships like Saudi or Egypt are able to suppress their populations sympathies for the Palestinians and rage at the Israelis barbarities.

    One wonders where on this spectrum most of the “western” states now lie? They too are answerable to their electorates on the Gaza issue, for the present.

    This will likely elicit a very strong reaction from the Israeli state lobby. In effect this is a whole national BDS movement, which risks spreading to others, Muslim countries first. I’m expecting very large, clumsy counterreactions, such as getting the EU to ban Turkish exports, or the US to block bank accounts, or whatever else is likely to drive Ergodan up in the polls and herd Turkey further into the BRICS camp.

    1. Piotr Berman

      There is also Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, with potential for worse relation with USA and better with China and Russia (not sure about the direct impact on Israel, but USA should worry about itself too).

      1. Feral Finster

        Pakistan is de facto ruled by its military and spooks, each of whom have rather close relations with the United States.

    2. Altandmain

      The Turkish people have a bigger conscience than Erdogan, that’s for sure. If he’s responding to the poor showing of his party in the latest local elections, that says a lot about him and not in a good way. He kept doing business with the Israelis, while lying to his own people. Now the voters are demanding he live up to his rhetoric.

      Many of these Arabic nations have leaders that are descendants of those picked by the US and before that, European countries during the colonial age. Turkiye may be indicative of the sentiment on the street.

      I suspect that if this keeps going on, there will be regime change of the sort that the US desperately doesn’t want, namely truly democratic movements that are quite hostile to the US. Such a regime would have far great legitimacy than the previous governments, having pursued policies the Arabic people want.

      Note how the Iranians and the Ansar Allah movement (the Houthis) are so popular in the Arabic world right now.

    3. Marc

      Only autocracies or military dictatorships like Saudi or Egypt are able to suppress their populations sympathies for the Palestinians

      Don’t forget France, Great Britain, Germany and the US itself.

  2. divadab

    Good. More of this. Genocidal Apartheid regimes need to be isolated and sanctioned and consigned to the pariah status they deserve. It makes me sick to see the corrupt scum in the US legislative branch destroying the Constitution to hide Israel’s war crimes. Filthy scum protecting filthy scum. Utterly sickening.

  3. Dissident Dreamer

    Re exploding food cans I saw this weird bit in the Guardian live coverage:

    The risk of exposure to unexploded ordnance in Gaza is at its “most dangerous stage”, the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) has warned.

    Highlighting the warning in its flash update, the UN humanitarian agency (OCHA), reported that a 14-year-old boy was seriously injured and had to undergo limb amputations after opening a booby-trapped can of food.

    Citing information shared by the Government Media Office (GMO) on 29 April, OCHA said that the can was found while the boy looked for belongings in his house in Khan Younis after it had been shelled by Israeli forces.

    The OCHA writes:

    The GMO indicated that many people have been recently injured due to the explosion of booby-trapped canned goods, urging the population to exercise maximum care.
    Based on UN estimates of unexploded munitions, the GMO assessed that around 7,500 tons of unexploded ordnance (UXO) might be scattered throughout Gaza, appealing for assistance by the international community to remove explosive remnants of war (ERW) and mitigate the risk for civilians.

    While unexploded bombs are an appalling and entirely predictable result of Israel’s bombing campaign disguising explosives as food is at an entirely different level of heinousness.

    Conflating the two is simply working for Israel. I wonder if this is a Guardian invention or general MSM policy.

    Is OCHA itself involved?

    1. Objective Ace

      This reads like a really bizarre setup from the get go. If I have this right, the IDF is breaking into people homes and leaving booby trapped food?

      An adult would be much more likely to realize the food is new/came from elsewhere so this seems as if it’s specifically designed to target children

  4. Cristobal

    This is the best news I have heard in a while. Could this be the first baby step to a peeling off of the country from NATO? Turkiye is probably the weakest link among the hostage member states, and perhaps the most important. It is increasingly apparent that the country has more in common with its neighbors than it does with the Big Boss across the water. Erdogan is indeed a slippery character, but as he weighs his political options a shift towards those countries in his neighborhood makes sense. With good news in such short supply I will take what I can get!

    1. Alex Cox

      It’s doubtful that the US will willingly give up Incirlik air base. It’s too useful as a platform to hit Russia; US nuclear weapons are kept there.

  5. Sam Owen

    Nice, I didn’t think Erdogan would do actually do it. I wonder how serious this will be in practice. The EU still imports some goods directly from Russia

  6. marcel

    “Turkiye has suspended all trade with Israel”
    Does that include the transit of gaz from Azerbaijan?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      That is not a Turkiye export so I doubt it.

      Plus Turkstream has been attacked several times, all fended off. Turkiye does not want to invite more of that sort of thing.

  7. The Rev Kev

    First a comment about those booby-trapped food tins. These are not like the re-purposed jam tins from WW1 but look to me to have been manufactured and in at least two sizes. And this would imply a facility to manufacture them and I would guess that as they are using explosive material, it would require a license from the government to do so. The implication of that then is a government contract to do so as they have been purpose built. As to where this facility is located, I would suggest in one of the occupied territories with workers from perhaps the Settler communities. Now as to this development.

    The trade is suspended but cannot find out if that includes the oil that goes through Turkiye to Israel. Regardless, Erdogan must see that his support for Israel is costing he and his party dearly as I believe that most of his supporters are traditional Muslims who would not look kindly on Erdogan facilitating a genocide of fellow Muslims. The shake-up his party had in March was just a warning then. Of course there may be a roll-on effect that could happen. Lots of countries have not taken action against Israelis as they have dependencies in one way or another on them.

    But that could only be a tolerable position if Israel achieved a quick victory. They have not and Hamas is still fighting and drawing blood with no sign of any possibility of Israel being able to eliminate them this decade. So the internal pressures of supporting Israel in all these countries is degrading support for those governments. It does not help when the people in those countries see Yemen not only holding the line but successfully resisting a western task force of warships while attacking Israel. The successful attack by Iran on Israel just draws a big red line under this. So for those governments, the clock is ticking.

    1. Gabby Thundercleese

      Those are fuses removed from anti-tank mines. To accuse the other of placing bombs inside food cans, when the object looks nothing, nothing of the sort, shares a common medieval codex that believes wicked creatures are using magic to steal babies’ breath. It is an imagination that sees a disarmed weapon and just knows, without evidence, that it is the treachery of the other.

      At first glance, disinformation of the sort doubles as lugubrious schizo-paranoid literature of inanimate objects tormenting the author. But, no, it’s just the spread of hate using mass-production techniques and harnessing the pervasive self-disgust of its practitioners as member of a species which pollutes itself with such conceptions.

      This is the literature of someone with no options left because one’s leadership marched its entire society on death ground.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Take your intelligence-insulting hasbara elsewhere. I looked up images of anti-tank mine fuses and they look NOTHING like those cans. FFS, they are squatty, bear no resemblance to food cans, and lack the opener piece, which is really a trigger. The triggers on anti-tank mine fuses come in various forms and are designed to be compressed, not pulled up.

        Seriously, people like you are vile.

            1. hemeantwell

              Good job, NC custodians.
              GT’s second paragraph rant, with a “self-polluting species” crescendo, has a note of that bracing Lebensraumlust that the Zionists have become so frank about.

                1. chris

                  You mean like this?

                  lugubrious schizo-paranoid literature of inanimate objects tormenting the author

                  The hell does that even mean? But for the sake of argument alone, let’s take the proposal at face value, OK, they’re anti tank fuses. Why are they in a person’s house? And if they’re not what blew up the kid in the video, the kid was still horrendously injured! Can we just stop maiming children? Please?

                  I do not understand how we got to a point where we will violate our own laws to rush money and arms to a country our own government has determined is committing war crimes, but we’ll claim forgiving student loans or providing single payer healthcare is against the law???

      2. Jessica

        I came home the next night as drunk as I can be
        I spied some pants upon the chair where my pants ought to be
        Well, I said to my wife, my pretty little wife, explain this thing to me
        What are these pants doing here on the chair where my paints ought to be
        Oh, you old fool, you blind fool can’t you plainly see
        It’s nothing but an old dish rag that my mother send to me
        Ah, I’ve traveled this wide world over, ten thousand miles or more
        But cuffs and a zipper on a dish rag I never did see before
        (But cuffs and a zipper on a dish rag I never did see before)
        I came home the next night as drunk as I could be
        And there was a head on the pillow where my head ought to be
        I said to my wife, my pretty little wife, explain this thing to me
        What’s this head doing here on the pillow case where my head ought to be
        Oh, you old fool, you blind fool can’t you plainly see
        It’s nothing but a melon that my mother send to me
        Ah, I’ve traveled this wide world over, ten thousand miles or more
        But a mustache on a mashmelon I never did see before
        (A mustache on a mashmelon I never did see before)

        It’s a good thing I not of a suspicious nature

    2. Alice X

      Anyone that would play audio of crying babies to bring people out of sheltering to shoot them could use booby trapped food tins. As a side (at the Electronic Intifada) a heartwrenching tale from Ahmed Abu Artema looking for his destroyed apartment in Khan Younis: Gaza’s new and terrifying reality.

  8. Emma

    Speaking of the pier, Jon Elmer did a detailed breakdown on Justin Podur’s program at https://youtu.be/JrW3C2mshH4?si=pYsTKFD-GDsmUkYJ starting around 24:00.

    The consensus from the Resistance centered people I follow is that Turkey’s move is mostly a nothingburger. Israel can get around the ban through third country intermediaries and smuggling, so it may end up benefiting Erdogan’s allies by tacitly letting them sell outside of Turkish tax and monitoring regime. The other major sticking point is that this doesn’t affect transit of Azeri oil or the smuggling of Syrian oil from illegally occupied parts of Syria, and oil is more immediately important to the war effort.

    The other aspect is that Israeli internal consensus seem to have dramatically shifted from “Death to Amelek” to “it’s all Netanyahu, Smotrich, and Ben Gvir’s fault”. Lots of protests. Recognition that they’re not going to get hostages back or re-establish deterrence through extreme war crimes. I personally think liberal Zionists are just as culpable and evil as the rest, but the attempt at a distinction may tear Israel apart.

    They’re stuck in a quagmire where they can’t even control northern Gaza and are likely taking thousands of IDF deaths and tens of thousands of serious injuries. The economy is shrinking in a way that risk becoming permanent as the war drags on. The image of Israel as a relatively safe place for business is probably irreparably tarnished. The reachable prize of the offshore gas fields and the beautiful Gaza coastline will never be developed because they will be justified and easy targets for attacks. So Netanyahubgave away to the demands of the right wing terrorists and made their country this generation’s genocidal pariah state, for what?

    So it seem like we’re close to the end game. Israel’s remaining hail Mary/bargaining chips are a bloodbath in Rafah where they try to exterminate all Gaza Palestinian men over 13 and figure out some way to pull Americans into the conflict. Even if they accomplish one or both of these goals, it will just accelerate the inherent contradictions and speeds up its demise.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Smuggling is not a low cost operation. I would not deem this to be a nothingburger. Israel is likely to pay a bare minimum of 10% more over its former prices, and its economy is already reeling. Israel’s upset says they do not regard it as a nothingburger either.

      And the goods have to transit through Muslim states. Might be some unfortunate accidents along the way.

      Erdogan’s enemies would make huge political hay out of the fact (if it turned out to be the case) that he was not enforcing the trade ban or worse cronies were getting a free poss. So I would not expect much slippage on the Turkiye end ex bureaucratic incompetence.

      More generally, this looks to be a knee-jerk “sanctions don’t work”. But they do work, just not enough to achieve the usually-sought outcome of regime change. Look at Cuba. World class medicine and biotech and pretty much everything else is shabby. Widespread under-nutrition in North Korea. Iran only now starting to get some growth after many many years of difficult adaptation.

      Russia was dramatically different because it was already close to an autarky due to its tremendous natural resources and manufacturing base. It became more so after the 2014 coup and Western sanctions. It also had big powerful economic allies who helped: India, China, Turkiye.

      How many friends does Israel have left?

      Israel would do better to buy whatever it gets from Turkiye now from the EU and suck up the extra transportation costs. Trying to preserve supplies from Turkiye too fraught.

      1. Emma

        I agree that sanctions and use of bypasses such as smuggling are costly, especially for small states like Israel, as this makes them increasingly reliant as sea borne freight from Europe. However, Israel is a wealthy country and can write checks off of Uncle Sam’s checkbook ( such as USAID backing for their bond sales), so such costs may be quite bearable in the short run and will provide graft opportunities for Turkish industrialists who are otherwise hurt by the sanctions.

        This is all with the expectation that one way or another, the situation Gaza ends soon and Erdogan can lift the sanctions quickly. If the situation grinds on for another 6-12 months, then things will get much more sticky for everyone.

        1. Emma

          I will say that I don’t think there’s going to be a real day after for Israel or the West, even if they ethnically cleanse all of Gaza or put it under some sort of PA led Vichy regime.

          Ilan Pappe said that he thought the next 12 to 24 months will be very hard, but then Israel will break from its internal contradictions. People will leave, the struggles in the West Bank and with Hezbollah will intensify, and there won’t be a sustainable Jewish entity on the other end.

          The external factors will also be very harsh on Israel. Once Russia is done in Ukraine, it and China will look to help Syria recover its territory and economy. Iran and China will also want to bring Iraq fully into the BRICS system and out of American domination. The salvo from this new Bahraini resistance organization suggests that Iran’s Axis of Resistance is spreading into places ruled by Western placed emirs and kings. The actual positions of ISIS and other regional players has been unveiled by their actions. All in all, an Israel that is now clearly intolerable to basically all Arabs is not going to last in a sea of Arabs.

          Yes there are the nukes and the Samson option, but I don’t think Israelis have it in them to die for the land. Look how quickly the fanatical settlers in the north and around the Gaza envelop abandoned their homes. Look at how quickly the ultra orthodox deeply implicated in pogroms in the West Bank and lies of Zaka, threatened to leave the country if they’re called up for conscription. Look at the desertions of reservists in the latest call ups.

          Would any of these people, who can still have comfortable lives in the Levant or in the West, really give up their lives for a land that they’re only willing to kill for (and in many cases, brainwash the young into killing for them)?

          Especially now that their finally waking up somewhat from their October 7 freakout and are confronting the fact that Mass Hannibal was likely responsible for the majority of civilian deaths, and that their ‘most moral army in the world’ shot 3 white flag waving defenseless hostages in cold blood.

          The Afrikaans didn’t use their nukes, even though their ties to the land go back centuries and their ancestors did die in large numbers in the Boer War. So while the chances of the Israelis using nukes is not zero, I hope and think its quite unlikely

          1. JonnyJames

            Yes, I think you are probably right about Samson Option. Israelis with two passports and/or financial resources can simply move out if the SHTF. They will have to give up their subsidies from the Israeli gov and handouts from so-called NGOs/Nonprofits though.

            I agree, the Zionist Crusader State is not sustainable, and time is not on their side. Unfortunately, many Palestinians will suffer and die in the meantime.


          2. gk

            Look at how quickly the ultra orthodox deeply implicated in pogroms in the West Bank and lies of Zaka, threatened to leave the country if they’re called up for conscription

            Threatened doesn’t mean that they’ll actually do it….

                1. Emma

                  But if they’re not even loyal enough to fight for Israel, why would they be loyal enough to die for Israel as would happen if the Samson option moved forward? And this is about a quarter of the Jewish population in Israel who received substantial state subsidies.

                  1. gk

                    Depends how the Samson option is implemented. If they fire a nuclear missile from the Temple Mount, while the sacrifices are in progress in the Temple, and the Amalekites close in, you can see how they might remain.

                    This scenario is from the end of Sarid’s novel “the Third”. Available in Hebrew, Italian, and French. The English translation is available only through Samizdat. My description should hint at why no publisher has dared publish in in English.

        2. marku52

          I can still get Sovtek (Russian) vacuum tubes, but they cost 50% more than they did before the war. Probably going through Turkey or India

      2. Piotr Berman

        Israel still has the “collective West” and Argentina. But the collective West can experience further troubles (no need for that in Argentina).

    2. earl

      they are better off exterminating the women (and it seems like this is their aim). Babies (growing up to be soldiers) are the best weapon the gazan’s have. That is why Israel has been hitting hospitals, killing babies and targetting women. They are nothing if not strategic, as despicable as this may be morally.

      1. Emma

        They’re setting up checkpoints that allow the women and children to leave Rafah but are presumably detaining the men and summarily executing some portion of them. Given what we know about the conditions of IDF detention, this is almost certainly going to force the men to stay in Rafah and try to survive the Israeli siege.

        I know the Zionists hate and fear the ‘Palestinian womb’ even more, but presumably it’s harder to figure out a way to collectively target them, so they have to kill them on a retail basis and by rejecting things like baby delivery kits and baby formula from getting into Gaza. Women in Gaza are forced to endure caesarean sections without pain medication – just think about the twisted cruel minds behind such rejections.

        1. Dessa

          Forcing every man into a last stand seems tactically stupid to me. If the resistance can even get small arms into a portion of their hands, it will make for a very pitched battle.

          1. Emma

            I can’t think of a single Israeli military action on October 7 and after that wasn’t vastly stupid from a military strategic sense. Can’t even think of many actions that qualify as sensible from a tactical sense.

  9. Mikel

    “The long-lived leader seems to regard getting credibly tough with Israel as essential to his political survival.”

    So many global elected and non-elected officials needing to “win” war/conflict for political survival.
    Does not bode well.

  10. SocalJimObjects

    I really want to feel optimistic, I really do, but this might just be another victory for Modi Inc. If Russia can export oil to Europe through India, Turkey can likewise use India Express (Index) to export steel to Israel. Sure the later will pay some markup, but Congress will sign whatever money that’s required. What will be funny is if this is the beginning of the Rupee as the International Reserve Currency especially if the US were to go crazy with sanctions.

    1. ISL

      Not sure how that avoids the Houthi embargo, though – the land bridge is key. There is no comparable “imposed embargo” on shipping oil from India to the EU. I suppose it could go around the Horn of Africa, but there is talk about Hezbollah doing as the Houthi have been attacking shipping destined for Israel (and they have been targeting Israeli ports. No off-loading, no oil).

      1. Emma

        Yeah, Ansarallah ensures that Israel is not getting anything in from the Indian ocean. If they go the long way around, then it’s no different from just getting stuff directly from Europe. They just took down a ship in the Indian ocean that broadcasted false transponder information (saying it wasn’t going to Israel but then docking in an Israeli port) and got hunted down for it.

        India is sending upwards of a hundred thousand scabs to replace Palestinians and Thai workers. The Indian unions are upset about this but Modi and the Hindutva are birds that definitely want to flock with the Zionists, no matter how racist the Israelis act against them.

        1. Dessa

          Ansarallah has escalated to attack Israeli ships in the Mediterranean now as well. What safe land routes remain with a wall of hostile nations to the north and northeast? Egypt?

          1. Emma

            Just saw that. Craziness. And possibly with hypersonic missiles too. They got a heck of an Eid gift basket this year.

            So there’s Jordan and Egypt for land crossing. But the Iraqi resistance groups might make that inconvenient. And this has to put unbearable pressure on two already very unpopular governments.

      2. Bill Malcolm

        “I suppose it could go around the Horn of Africa,”

        The Horn of Africa lies right across the Gulf of Aden from Yemen. From Wikipedia: “The Horn of Africa, also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsula and geopolitical region in East Africa.”

        Why on Earth would India bother going around the Horn? Avoid it entirely by going own and around the Cape of Good Hope, which is the Republic of South Africa. Is this what you meant? Because otherwise you have completely confused me.

    2. JonnyJames

      No, the rupee will not be the international reserve currency for many reasons. Non-USD, bilateral currency swaps are one thing, international reserve currency is a whole different animal.

    3. Phenix

      India’s BJP is an ideological ally of Zionism. Hindu nationalism does not seem equal rights of Islam or any other faith. India however is a democracy so there is always hope.

      1. Terry Flynn

        If you have the stomach for it, try a deep dive into what strong supporters of Zionist Israeli parties think of the BJP-supporters’ tweets expressing support against “evil Palestinians”.

        Phrases like “you people who take a dump by the road are next…. Family blog off with your false gods” are common. I don’t for one moment think India and Israel can stand together in practice.

        1. Anon

          Elites are elites, they may argue sometimes, but they are united on the free movement of capital, and perpetuating its accumulation.

        2. Emma

          It is funny by how the Zionists couldn’t even follow the Axis playbook and make Hindutva honorary Zionists.

          But it appears that the vocal support is just coming from individual Hindutva chuds online and even that’s substantially faded after the first 100 days. I believe Modi government’s position is basically the two state solution on pre1967 boundaries like everybody else. They’ve been very quiet.

  11. ChrisFromGA

    At least one syndicator, Google news, is downplaying the story and promoting a false narrative about Hamas reps going to Cairo meaning that there is going to be a ceasefire deal. Even though Netanyahu has stated that he’s going into Rafah, ceasefire or not. Despite the fact that Netanyahu’s coalition partners told him, if he does a deal, he’s out. I can’t find anything about the ban on exports unless I search for “Turkey.”

    I suspect they’re keeping hope alive to prop up markets. My other theory is that Hamas knows that by stalling they at least keep some measure of control over the situation, with Netanyahu wary of starting the Rafah operation full throttle as long as some sort of negotiations are at least ostensibly in play.

    It all seems so horribly cynical; every day that the war continues more kids are dying.

  12. David in Friday Harbor

    I think that this development is a tectonic shift and that we shouldn’t make assumptions.

    Türkiye is a secular democracy but has been a center of Islamic civilization for a millennium, and Erdoğan is in serious trouble with conservatives. Today Metropoll’s “Turkey Pulse” found that 70 percent of Turks believe that Erdoğan’s AKP favors the rich. https://www.turkishminute.com/2024/05/03/majority-of-turks-think-akp-govt-favors-the-rich-metropoll-survey/

    Türkiye is a highly-educated society but divided between observant Muslim and European-looking secular groups. People are starting to feel that the wealth from kissing-up to the EU on Israel is not being shared.

    Israel is completely dependent on Azerbaijani and Kurdish oil transshipped via the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan and Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipelines via sea-links from the Türkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan to Haifa, Ashkelon, and Eliat. Certainly Baku can complain if Ceyhan shuts down, but it might be better politically for Erdoğan if he puts the port on “pause” while Türkiye joins the South African ICJ case.

    We shall see. Meanwhile, disguising explosives as cans of food scattered among a population of starving civilians by the Revisionist Zionist fascists is diabolical. There will be political repercussions for the U.S. regime if this story gets wide play (I expect the censorship to be cranked-up to maniacal levels).

    1. Feral Finster

      I recall a discussion with a Turkish banker (the kind that likes a glass of wine with dinner), to the effect that “only about 25% of Turks are really civilized human beings”.

      That statement explains a lot, most of it ugly, and it also tracks with the statistics that you give.

      1. Bill Malcolm

        Sounds like the prime twerp Lord David Cameron’s opinion of his British countrymen. Why would one give credence to a Turkish banker who likes a glass of wine and thus thoroughly Westernized, of all people, as to being a fair judge of fellow Turks? Of course he looks down on them.

      2. Emma

        You can call them sophisticates or you can call them Gusanos, either ways they’re likely to sell out their countrymen for a pat on the head from people who lead WEF talks.

  13. JonnyJames

    Great stuff, this will be very interesting to say the least. So far, Erdogan has been all blah blah, and very little action, but he’s a politician after all…

    As for the Gaza pier: someone said (Michael Hudson, or Scott Ritter) that the pier will likely be used to load the surviving Palestinians onto ships and expel them forever. But whereto?

    What would it take for Turkiye to withdraw from NATO and expel US/UK forces at Incirlik and expel all NATO forces in country? That would be a huge event on the Grand Chessboard.

    There are many US/NATO bases, not just Incirlik

    1. John k

      That would burn all bridges to the west, so clearly there’d have to be a major offer from BRICS. Otoh…
      Turkey has been spurned for many years re eu membership. Clearly not gonna happen.
      Russia will clearly win in Ukraine and will be seen by realists as the big guy in Europe. Plus huge number of Russian tourists have become a pillar of the economy. And Russia is much better than us to keep its agreements. And Russia can meet all of turkey’s energy needs.
      China has made huge strides in the Persian gulf. Gulf states look to be shifting east, if cautiously.
      So erdogan might shift to the east. But he doesn’t like to burn bridges, imo small steps.

  14. dearieme

    “Turkiye has suspended all trade with Israel.” That works.

    Whereas if you’d written “Turkey has suspended all trade with Israel” I’d have thought the story was about Biden.

  15. Anthony Martin

    One of things cut was jet fuel. A F-35 gores through 1200 gallons per hour. A key question is how much aviation jet fuel Israel refines. No fuel, no fly.

  16. Emma

    Yemen just kicked it up a lot of notches. I wonder if they got a new shipment of Iranian toys? Perhaps this is the true revenge for the Embassy bombing and the terrorist attack at Solemani’s grave.

    It’s mind blowing that cheap missiles and drones to attack shipping and critical infrastructure may become the poor man’s nukes. The thing that the US constantly held over China over the Malacca Strait and about Iran over Hormuz. Turned out Yemen got there first.


    1. Emma

      If this checks out…I don’t think Yemen getting hypersonic missiles before the US was on anybody’s bingo card.

  17. chris

    No more drive by comments from Pro-Israel trolls? Either the comment moderation is going into overdrive or they’ve decided to retreat to more favorable comment areas.


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