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Turkish parliament holds emergency session to discuss Saudi popular boycott of goods
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 07 - 03 - 2021

ANKARA — The Turkish parliament held an emergency plenary session to discuss the consequences of the popular boycott of Turkish goods in Saudi Arabia. The parliament session was held at the request of the opposition Republican People's Party, according to a report in the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet.
The Turkish government has admitted that it is unable to persuade the Saudis to stop the boycott. The government sources noted that they have no strategy to confront the Saudi popular boycott campaign of its products, which has intensified since the last quarter of 2020.
The newspaper carried the response of the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who said: "We will continue to take the necessary steps in bilateral and multilateral forums on this issue."
The minister stated that he had discussed the issue with Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan on the sidelines of the Council of Foreign Ministers of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), held in Niamey, Niger, in November 2020.
"We are continuing our initiatives with the Saudi authorities with regard to the issue of our companies and exports to the Kingdom," he added.
In a memorandum presented to the parliament, the opposition party stressed that "since a few months ago, the situation has reached a level that cannot be endured" due to the suffering of Turks and Turkish companies, which export huge volume of textiles, foodstuffs and other goods.
According to the memo, the popular boycott of the Turkish products has caused suffering to Turkish citizens and companies that engage in the export of these goods.
While reiterating the call for an emergency session of the parliament to discuss this serious issue, the opposition party emphasized that targeting of Turkish products for months is not an accident that can be concealed from the people and left unanswered.
"The seriousness of the situation is evident and hence a general meeting of Parliament must be held," it added.
It is noteworthy that the value of Saudi Arabia's imports from Turkey fell by 72 percent to a record low in December 2020, reaching SR50.6 million, down from SR182.2 million in the previous month. According to the latest figures of the General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT), the December value is the lowest in the volume of imports from Turkey in at least a year.
In 2020, Saudi businessmen and retailers called for a ban on imports from Turkey apparently in an unofficial boycott of Turkish goods. Several business experts in the private sector said in October 2020 that the Saudi industrial sector is able to provide alternatives to Turkish products.
They emphasized that Saudi Arabia has a major industrial value that covers the sectors of food, building materials, equipment, and the manufacture of consumer goods and products.
Ajlan Al-Ajlan, chairman of the Saudi Council of Chambers, joined the call for the boycott of Turkish goods. "Boycotting everything Turkish, whether on the level of import, investment or tourism, is the responsibility of every Saudi — trader and consumer — in response to the continued hostility of the Turkish government against our leadership, our country and our citizens," said Ajlan in a post on Twitter.
The call for a boycott came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that some countries in the Arabian Gulf were targeting Turkey and pursuing policies that destabilized the region.

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