Türkiye rejects allegations of military cooperation with Israel

Türkiye on Tuesday rejected allegations of cooperation with Israel, particularly defense-based cooperation, as this would harm Palestinians.

“It is not possible for the Republic of Türkiye, which has always supported Palestine, to carry out or engage in any activity that would harm Palestinians,” said the country’s National Defense Ministry.

“The National Defense Ministry does not have any activities with Israel, including military training, exercises and defense industry cooperation.”

The statement came after claims by some media outlets that Türkiye continues to export gunpowder, weapons and ammunition to Israel.

The ministry said that Israel’s ongoing acts of violence in the Gaza Strip targeting hospitals, schools, places of worship, refugee camps and civilians unfortunately continue “without discrimination.”

Separately, the Turkish Communications Directorate’s Center for Countering Disinformation also rejected the reports after examining several social media posts.

“The products in the 93rd chapter of the alleged export list are not war weapons and ammunition but ungrooved rifle spare parts and accessories and fishing equipment used for individual purposes such as sports and hunting,” it said on X.

According to data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TURKSTAT), there have been no exports of rifles for sports and hunting purposes since May 2023, which already had low figures, it added.

“The products exported under the heading ‘Gunpowder and explosives, pyrotechnic products, matches, pyrophoric alloys, combustible preparations’ in the 36th chapter of the export list were ‘gel fuel and lighter fluid.’

“It has been determined that attempts were made to manipulate public opinion regarding the products included in the chapter headings of the Customs Tariff and exported by private companies,” it added.

Since the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip on Oct. 7 and long before, Türkiye has been unwavering in its support for Palestine.

Israel has waged a deadly military offensive on Palestinian territories since an Oct. 7 cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas which killed around 1,200 people.

More than 32,400 Palestinians have since been killed and nearly 74,800 injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which in January issued an interim ruling that ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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