Israel turns to Turkey for help in tomato crisis

October 10, 2010

Turkish tomatoes in Bursa

Rocky politics or not, Israel is turning to Turkey to help it extract itself from the tomato crisis gripping the country.

Tomatoes, a dietary staple in Israel and around the Mediterranean Sea, have reached record prices in the wake of the extreme heat wave over the summer, which killed buds and damaged crops.

Relations between former allies Turkey and Israel have dramatically deteriorated following deep divergences over Gaza and the fatal raid by Israeli troops on a Turkish ship carrying aid to Palestinians in May.

However, Tel Aviv is now turning to Turkey in bid to allay the tomato crisis. The imported tomatoes are expected to come also from Jordan, Egypt and Italy.

The Israeli agriculture minister has asked his ministry’s top officials to work with the Tax Authority to revoke the import tax on tomatoes to help smooth the immediate import of 2,000 tonnes of the fruit, Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Sunday.

The high prices have driven restaurants to change their menus, and around five per cent of restaurants have removed tomatoes from their menus, now serving salads without them, the daily said.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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