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Other translations from the Turkish opposition press on Israel’s offensive against Gaza

Other sample press translations from Turkish to English

The following article appeared in Evrensel on 22 March 2024. Translated from Turkish by Tim Drayton

Original article:

Their true colours have become visible

With the Western world, especially the USA and European countries, to a large extent turning a blind eye towards genocide, or with some of them even extending monetary and military support to Israel, Arab countries remain silent.

Mustafa DURMUŞ

With the local elections approaching, spokespersons particularly of National View-based parties such as Felicity and New Welfare continue to criticize the government and Erdoğan over the Israel policy the Palace is conducting.

The facts bear them out, too, because the Zionist Israeli state and Israeli Head of State Netanyahu, who has predicated his political future on the destruction of the Palestinian people, continue to commit genocide before the eyes of the whole world.


With the Western world, especially the USA and European countries, to a large extent turning a blind eye towards this genocide, or with some of them even extending monetary and military support to Israel, Arab countries remain silent.

Turkey, meanwhile, continues as ever to dither. Turkey and Erdoğan’s position appears to be precisely that of “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”. Meaning if they go and impose sanctions on Israel this will harm the commercial interests of Turkish capital, not least that of the Independent Industrialists and Businessmen's Association (MÜSİAD) which is its own capital base, selling as it does serious amounts of civilian and military goods and products to this country, and the USA would not be happy with this, either. On the other hand, if it takes no stance, it will alienate the anti-Israel electorate in the country, which it has no wish to do as this would constitute a serious risk in the run-up to the local elections.


Consequently, like one who tells the truth at the police station only to deviate from it in court, Israel personified by Netanyahu is excoriated verbally, while in practice trade between Israel and Turkey is skyrocketing.

Meanwhile, the number of Palestinians killed by the Israeli state has surpassed 23,000 and more than half of these are unarmed innocent Palestinian women and children.

Moreover, according to the United Nations, 1.1 million people in Gaza (half the population) have fully exhausted their food supplies and their capacity to withstand famine. They are encountering famine of catastrophic dimensions (IPC Phase 5). At least 300 trucks must enter Gaza each day to meet basic food needs alone and they must especially distribute food to the north, but a mere nine convoys have been permitted since the start of the year.


An article with the above title was published in the journal named Monthly Review on 18 March 2024.

According to this article, the political tension for public consumption between Ankara and Tel Aviv has had no negative impact on the trade front since, for Ankara, political and economic goals trump humanitarian concerns. Despite widespread popular anger at the ongoing genocide in Gaza and calls for the complete severing of bilateral relations, Ankara allows trade between Israel and Turkey to continue.

“Erdogan’s calculations are not hard to discern: Turkiye is currently grappling with an economic crisis and is heavily invested in enhancing ties with pro-Israel Washington and EU to enable its recovery.”


Not only has trade between Turkey and Israel increased since the war, but at the same time most of the trade and transport business has been conducted by companies affiliated with the Independent Industrialists and Businessmen's Association (MÜSİAD), a group supported by Erdoğan.

According to Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) figures, while Turkey’s exports to Israel stood at 1.4 billion dollars at the start of the 2000’s, this rose five-fold to 5.1 billion dollars in 2023. Moreover, Turkey numbers among the top four importer countries to Israel.

In an interview he gave journalist Kemal Öztürk, Minister of Transport Abdülkadir Uralolğu declared that 701 ships, an average of eight voyages a day, had sailed from Turkish ports to Israeli ports between 7 October-31 December. This number includes 480 ships that went directly from Turkish ports to Israel and 221 ships that docked in Turkey en route from third-country ports to Israel.


As Turkey continues to meet such critical needs of Israel as steel, cement, vegetables, fruit, cars and electrical domestic appliances, Zorlu Holding is meeting seven per cent of Israel’s electricity requirements thanks to its energy investments in the occupying state.

With Turkey supplying 65 percent of Israel’s steel imports, MÜSİAD-affiliated Turkish conglomerate İÇDAŞ stands out as one of the key companies exporting to the occupying state. İÇDAŞ has sent 50,000 tonnes of steel to Israel since the start of the Gaza war on 7 October alone.

Some of this steel is used in Israel’s military industry, especially in the manufacture of munitions used to annihilate the densely populated Gaza region and to attack neighbouring Lebanon and Syria. İÇDAŞ in particular has stepped up its steel exports to the port of Haifa in 64 shipments in 2023 and nine shipments following 7 October. According to TİM’s figures, İÇDAŞ exported steel worth 35 million dollars in January 2024 and 38.5 million dollars in February. This saw İÇDAŞ being honoured as the top exporter company from Turkey to Israel at a ceremony held to mark the sixty-ninth anniversary of Israel’s foundation.


To top this, Israel meets 95 percent of its cement needs from Turkey and the Israeli Ministry of Defence numbers among these customers. According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, with cement worth a total of 174 million dollars having been exported to Israel in 2023, 6.39 million dollars of this amount was chalked up following 7 October.

Figuring prominently among Turkish companies that export cement to Israel are Akçansa, Limak, Oyak, Nuh Çimento and Eren Holding. In particular, MÜSİAD-member Eren Holding has exported more than 200,000 tonnes of cement to Israel since 7 October.

In short, their true colours have become visible.

Archive of Turkish press translations by Tim Drayton