Turkish business world backs boycott of Israeli goods

A group of people stage a demonstration to protest Israeli ongoing onslaughts within the 'Operation Protective Edge', killed at least 828 people and injured 5300 others since July 7, after Friday Prayer outside the New Mosque, also known Eminonu Mosque, in Istanbul, Turkey on july 25, 2014. (Burak Akbulut - Anadolu Agency)

ISTANBUL: Turkish entrepreneurs are backing a boycott of Israeli goods in response to Israel’s recent military attack on Gaza which killed 815 Palestinians by Friday’s count.

A worldwide boycott can affect the Israeli economy, entrepreneurs from the Anatolian Businesspersons’ Association and Istanbul Commodity Exchange told Anadolu Agency Friday.

Since July 7, Israel has bombarded Gaza and began a ground offensive Thursday overall resulting in deaths of at least 815 Palestinians, 5,260 Palestinians wounded, while 34 Israelis – 32 soldiers and two civilians – have been killed since hostilities began.

Around 20 pro-Palestinian demonstrators staged an anti-Israel protest at the U.K. government’s department for business, innovation and skills Wednesday. Thousands of Muslims in the southern Philippines have marched in the predominantly Muslim city of Marawi to protest and condemn Israel’s offensive in Gaza.

In addition to the protests, nationwide boycotts on Israeli products have started in Turkey.

Municipalities from many regions of Turkey have called for the boycott of Israeli goods and urge the public not to buy them. They announced a list of goods produced in Israel or by companies closely linked to Israel through social media posts.

Istanbul Commodity Exchange Chairman Ali Kopuz said Muslims all around the world have been boycotting the products of Israeli origin to a degree that can leave permanent damage on the country’s economy.

“Systematic boycotts in Islamic countries may bring financial crisis to Israel,” said Kopuz adding such a crisis could possibly be followed by bankruptcy in the banking and financial sectors. Pointing to the increasing number of Palestinian deaths, he said he believed the boycotts should be maintained in a determined way to show support for Palestine.

No country can resist the boycotts and protests for long if they are done consciously and persistently, said Mustafa Koca, the Chairman of Anatolian Businesspersons’ Association.

He suggested that the exact names of all products which serve Zionist circles be identified in order to keep a goal-oriented process of boycotting.

Meanwhile, Board Chairman of Turkish Retailers Federation Mustafa Altunbilek said in an issued written statement to the Turkish authorities that he is expecting a clear list of Israeli companies to be detailed.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 26, 2014, on page 4.




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