Source / Courtesy: CNN
Istanbul (CNN) — Turkey’s fiery prime minister ratcheted up rapidly-escalating tensions with Israel on Tuesday, comparing Ankara’s once-close middle eastern ally to a “spoiled boy” and announcing additional sanctions would soon be imposed.
“We are completely suspending all of these, trade relations, military relations, related with the defense industry,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, according to the semi-official Anatolian Agency. “All of these are completely suspended and other measures will follow this process.”
Asked to clarify whether this meant Turkey will halt more than $3 billion in bilateral trade, an official in the Turkish prime ministry, speaking on condition of anonymity under government protocol, insisted Erdogan was not referring to trade relations.
“He was referring to the defense industry,” the official said. “Nothing more than the measures that have been announced so far.”
Last week, Turkey declared it was downgrading relations with Israel, suspending all military agreements between the two countries and giving senior Israeli diplomats less than a week to leave Turkish territory.