According to Turkish officials, Saudi Arabia is pressuring local businesses not to do business with Turkey and detaining trucks carrying fresh fruits and vegetables at the border amid rising tensions between the two countries. “Relevant authorities have contacted the Saudis about the issue,” one Turkish official said. “The trade minister already made a phone call to her Saudi counterpart.”
“Saudi authorities cannot officially reveal this policy due to World Trade Organisation sanctions,” the report added, quoting a Turkish exporter. Under WTO rules, Turkey may file a dispute against Riyadh to seek compensation for recorded losses it if it can prove unwarranted Saudi tactics against its businesses.
Riyadh’s efforts against Turkish interests include cancelling the contracts of high-ranking Turkish employees working in the country. “You cannot even sell Turkish goods from Germany because they don’t want anything with a made in Turkey stamp,” the Dunya report said.
Fatih Gursoy, the chairman of the Turkey-Saudi Arabia Business Council, confirmed that Saudi authorities have been telephoning Saudi businesses on the issue.
“The propaganda against Turkish goods and Turkey has peaked,” Gursoy stated. “However, the irony is that our exports to Saudi Arabia registered a record increase.”
Turkish trade ministry statistics indicate that Turkish exports to Saudi Arabia have increased by 40 percent year-on-year in June, reaching roughly $213 mln after a drop at the height of the coronavirus crisis.
According to middleeasteye.net, Saudi officials have been openly campaigning against Turkey since last year, when tensions between the two countries reached unprecedented levels due to regional disagreements and the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.