In a letter sent by an employee of the Spanish clothing company “Mango” to Turkish suppliers, in which he confirmed “Saudi Arabia’s ban on all imports made in Turkey,” according to a newspaper.Financial Times“.
“We are talking about all the international brands that have stores in Saudi Arabia, produced in Turkey and sold in the Gulf country,” Mustafa Gultepe, head of the Istanbul Clothing Exporters’ Union, told the newspaper.
The Saudi government affirms that it has not “imposed any restrictions on Turkish goods,” adding that trade between the two countries “has not witnessed any significant decline, except for the general impact of the repercussions of the Covid 19 pandemic.”
Riyadh said in a statement issued by the government media office that it is committed to free trade and international agreements and treaties, but the President of the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce, Ajlan Al-Ajlan, called this month to boycott “everything that is Turkish”, in response to “the continuous hostility to the Turkish government against our leadership and our country.” And our citizens. ”
The tensions affected the aviation sector as well, as Turkish Airlines and Emirates Airlines in Dubai sought approval from regulators to reopen their famous routes to Dubai and Istanbul, which were closed during the Coronavirus pandemic, but Western officials said that the civil aviation authorities refused to agree to the appeal. Full services.
“It is an unofficial boycott,” an Emirati official said, adding that the Coronavirus pandemic “provides cover” for this step.
Turkish exporters complained that their products faced long delays at Saudi customs during the past month, which caused them heavy losses. On the other hand, the Spanish company, Mango, said in a statement that its teams “are looking at alternatives to slow down operations allocated for products of Turkish origin in Saudi Arabia.”
These companies see the problems as an attempt by Riyadh and its close ally, the Emirates, to punish Ankara for what they see as destabilizing interference in the Arab world.
The trade dispute represents a major escalation of differences between the two regional rivals, which increased after the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in his country’s consulate in Istanbul in October 2018, which sparked Saudi anger at what they considered Erdogan’s efforts to politicize the journalist’s killing, with the aim of weakening Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Turkey is one of the largest textile producers in Europe and the Middle East, as it exported $ 17.7 billion worth of ready-made garments in 2019, while Ankara exported goods and services to Riyadh worth $ 3.2 billion.
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