Turkey will cancel three planned joint military exercises with Israel in protest over the storming of Gaza-bound aid ships by Israeli commandos, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc told a news conference, according to Reuters news agency.
The most important cooperation is in the defense industry between Turkey and Israel.
Trade balance between the two countries is in favor of Israel. While Turkey purchases high-tech defense industry goods, Israel mostly purchases military boots and uniforms from Turkey. Israel is among the most significant partners of Turkey in the area of defense industry.
There are several cooperation opportunities between the two countries. But Israel-Palestine conflict is considered as the biggest obstacle in front of Turkey-Israel relations.
Turkey made exports worth 1.5 billion U.S. dollars while it made imports worth 1 billion U.S. dollars from Israel last year. In the first four months of 2010, Turkey exported products worth 415.9 million U.S. dollars to Israel and it imported goods worth 695.4 million U.S. dollars from Israel.
Iron-steel, automotive products, oil and oil products, electrical machinery, chemicals, ready-to-wear products and metal goods are the products exported by Turkey to Israel. Chemicals, oil, mineral ore, non-electrical products, paper and metal goods are among imported goods from Israel.
The projects which have been assumed by Turkish contracting companies in Israel amounted to nearly 583 million U.S. dollars so far.
Turkey and Israel signed a free trade agreement on March 14, 1996. The two countries also signed agreements in the areas of commercial, technical and scientific cooperation, prevention of double taxation, boosting mutual investments and memorandum of understandings.
Early on Monday, Israeli navy's forces raided a convoy of aid ships of IHH --a Turkish humanitarian relief organization-- carrying humanitarian aid for Gaza, killing at least two people and injuring 30 others. Turkish Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the Israeli operation.
The flotilla, which includes three cargo ships and three passenger ships, was trying to draw attention to Israel's three-year blockade of the Gaza Strip. The boats were carrying items such as electric-powered wheelchairs, prefabricated homes and water purifiers.