An unofficial imports embargo imposed by Saudi Arabia on Turkish goods is undermining that latter’s exports not only to the Persian Gulf power but to its neighbors and other Arab countries as well, according to several Arab and Israeli news agencies.
The move was triggered by the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recently statement that “Arab countries in the Gulf will not exist for long but Turkey will always remain powerful.”
A Saudi Twitter campaign to boycott Turkish-made products was launched within hours and has reportedly gained further momentum over the past few days, attracting the support of commentators and businesses, alike.
Data released by the Turkish Exporters Assembly says Saudi Arabia is the country’s 15th-largest export market, with sales amounting to $2. billion in the first nine months of 2020 –a drop of 16% compared to the same period of 2019.
An opportunity for Greek products
According to Israel Hayom, Saudi Arabia’s major supermarket chains replaced overnight their various Turkish products with products from Greece, Turkey’s main rival, which is logged in a dispute over its maritime border in the Mediterranean.
In fact, supermarkets in Riyadh, put Greek flags next to the new products in the shop windows, while the Herfy Burger fast food chain renamed its “Turkish hamburger” to “Greek hamburger” and wrapped it in a blue packaging, as per the colors of the Greek flag.