Saudi boycott of Turkish products … an official reveals to Al-Hurra...

Saudi boycott of Turkish products … an official reveals to Al-Hurra...
Saudi boycott of Turkish products … an official reveals to Al-Hurra...
Saudis said that the calls for an economic boycott of Turkey is a purely popular will that comes in response to “Turkish hostility” to the Gulf kingdom, while the head of the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce Ajlan Al-Ajlan stressed that the boycott has actually been achieved.

From time to time, popular calls appear on the social networking site Twitter, to demand a boycott of Turkish products, against the backdrop of political differences between Ankara and Riyadh.

These calls have been repeated continuously during the past two years, after the political tensions between the two countries that have escalated in recent years, especially after the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside his country’s consulate in Istanbul in October 2018.

Saudis indicated that calls were launched to respond to “Turkey’s hostile actions towards our country, targeting the leadership and the people” alike.

Calls for a Turkish boycott have increased on social media in recent days, as the hashtag “# Boycott_Products_Turkish_products” in addition to the tag “#Popular Campaign_to Boycott Turkey” has become the list of the most popular hashtags on Twitter in the past two days, with the participation of thousands of tweeters from Saudi Arabia and the UAE as well.

These calls were joined by the Saudi prince, Abdurrahman bin Musaed, who was attacked by the Turkish media for his support for these campaigns.

Abdul Rahman bin Musaed said in tweets on Twitter: “Despite my great support for it, it is a popular campaign that was launched by Saudis who love their country and supported them in it. The campaign is a result. Instead of attacking me, look at the reason, which is the policies of your president and his abuses.”

Turkish media launch a large-scale attack on a Saudi prince

The Saudi prince, who does not hold any political office, Abdul Rahman bin Musaed Abdulaziz, published newspaper headlines and TV clips from Turkish media outlets showing an attack on his person.

The volume of trade exchange between Saudi Arabia and Turkey decreased in recent years from 5.59 billion dollars in 2015 to 4.96 billion dollars in 2018, according to official data issued by Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

There are more than 200 Turkish companies operating in Saudi Arabia, and Riyadh is the second Gulf country after Qatar and the seventh country in the world in terms of the volume of work carried out by Turkish contractors in it.

Tourism figures for Saudis in Turkey decreased during the past year, as data issued by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism stated that the number of Saudi tourists in August 2020 amounted to about 100 120, compared to about 140010 during the same month last year.

Turkey is famous for tourism during the summer period for citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, due to its picturesque nature and moderate atmosphere, as well as the low prices compared to Western European countries.

The head of Saudi Chambers of Commerce, Ajlan Al-Ajlan, told Al-Hurra that his call to boycott Turkey economically started as a Saudi citizen.

He added, “Many citizens and companies look at Turkey’s anti-Saudi behavior, and these calls are a reaction to the Turkish hostility to our country. It is logical and innate, and the people cannot remain silent while seeing their homeland, land and children being targeted.”

The Turkish lira records record losses this year

The Secretary-General of the “Media” Association in the Kingdom, Nasser Al-Gharbi, did not deviate from this opinion, as he told the Al-Hurra website that “the repetition of popular campaigns is nothing but a patriotic feeling that every citizen feels, and certainly it is a reaction to what they see of the successive offenses they see.” And continuing, whether in a direct way or in the manner of whispering and touching from the Turkish government towards the homeland and its wise leadership. ”

Al-Gharbi pointed out that many indicators and economic data confirm that the boycott would incur losses to Turkey’s economy by about 15 billion riyals (about 4 billion dollars), which is the value of the goods that the Saudis imported from Turkish markets during the past year.

Al-Ajlan also pointed out that “it is stupid to laugh at us with diplomatic statements to confirm that relations with Saudi Arabia are excellent. Turkey is conspiring against us morning and evening, and the Saudi people are fully aware.”

He continued: “The Saudi people have open friendships and relations with all countries and peoples of the world, and have not been exposed to any other country,” adding: “Turkey interferes in Iraq and participated in the Syrian and Libyan conflict, but when it comes to Saudi Arabia, it is not allowed.”

Al-Ajlan stressed that this boycott includes not traveling to Turkey with the aim of tourism and investing in it, in addition to not importing its products.

According to the data General Authority for Statistics in Saudi ArabiaTobacco products top the list of what Riyadh imports from Ankara, with a value of 907 million Saudi riyals (about 241,826,335.40 million dollars), while carpets come second, and electrical appliances and equipment third in numbers dating back to 2018.

Al-Ajlan, who is the head of the Chamber of Commerce in the capital, Riyadh, also made calls for an economic boycott of Turkey through his Twitter account.

Regarding the government’s opinion on the popular boycott, Al-Ajlan said: “I do not answer on behalf of the government.”

Al-Ajlan emphasized that the boycott “has already been achieved and is present on the ground, and the entire private sector boycotted everything that is Turkish,” but he preferred not to talk about the effects of this campaign on the Turkish economy.

On the other hand, Al-Gharbi believes that “the Turkish economy is suffering, and thus the Turkish lira is not stable. If we take into account the strength of the influence of the Saudi boycott of Turkish products in the past simple period, we find that its continuation will have profound negative effects on the fragile Turkish economy, its base, as it collapses and collapses.” Currently”.

The Turkish lira recorded a sharp decline this year and reached record levels, as the currency reached about 7.7 pounds per dollar, which made it lose more than half of its value within 3 years.

Al-Gharbi added: “Al-Ajlan speaks from a personal point of view and from a purely commercial, investment and tourism standpoint, and this opinion represents the majority of jealous Saudi merchants and investors, and those who also work in the tourism sector (…). Popular will for a great country, great people, and strong and influential economy. ”

The Saudi economic boycott of Turkey comes amid the non-return of direct flights to Istanbul from Manama, and Abu Dhabi, although the airports in Bahrain and the UAE have gradually resumed their work after the Corona epidemic, while Saudi Arabia has not opened international aviation yet.

Bahrain and the UAE are considered the two most important allies of Saudi Arabia in the Cooperation Council for the Arab Gulf States.

Turkish reaction

On the other hand, Turkey did not issue a comment on the size of the losses due to the Saudi boycott, or even what is expected in the future, but some personalities have expressed their restlessness about the situation.

The last of these was the deputy of the opposition Republican People’s Party, Mehmet Güzelmansour, who commented on the boycott with an official statement issued by the party stating, “We in Turkey are living in an economic crisis in addition to the negative repercussions of the epidemic, so we in Turkey do not have the luxury of losing any market. Neither the Saudi market, nor the Middle Eastern countries. ”

The mayor of the Turkish province of Hatay, Lotfu Savaş, also appealed to Saudi Arabia to end the trade embargo imposed by it, which has affected businessmen in Hatay.

The Turkish official indicated that the jobs and livelihoods of merchants were cut off due to the Saudi ban on Turkish products, while waiting at the same time to open the way again for their exports, and to remove the obstacles.

Days before this, senior Turkish businessmen published a statement, in which they said that the Saudi authorities have intensified their efforts to prevent Turkish imports, warning that global supply chains are affected by Riyadh’s move.

In their statement published on Saturday, the heads of the eight largest business groups in Turkey cited complaints from Saudi companies that the authorities forced them to sign letters committing not to import Turkish goods, and complained about the exclusion of Turkish contractors from major tenders.

Statement of appeal from the major Turkish traders to Saudi Arabia

Top Turkish businessmen said that the Saudi authorities have intensified their efforts to block Turkish imports, warning that global supply chains are affected by Riyadh’s move.

He added, “Any official or informal initiative to obstruct trade between the two countries will have negative repercussions on our trade relations and will harm the economies and peoples of the two countries.”

Saudi Arabia is the fifteenth market for Turkish exports, as its sales, led by carpets, textiles, chemicals, grains, furniture and steel, amounted to 1.91 billion dollars in the first eight months of the year. This is a decrease of 17 percent from 2019.

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