At a time when the European Union and Greece lag and delay in announcing sanctions against Turkey, Saudi Arabia announced that they are imposing an embargo on Turkish products. The embargo will begin on October 3 and will be a strong blow to the already struggling Turkish economy.
Turkish exports to Saudi Arabia amount to $3.3 billion a year.
It is the first time that Turkish products have been banned in Saudi Arabia in the 30 years of trade relations between the two countries.
Turkey exported to the Arab kingdom fruits, vegetables, food, furniture, hotel equipment.
Turkey-Saudi Arabia relations could be described as Cold War.
The administration of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has launched a series of verbal attacks on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and has openly accused him of ordering the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Saudi Arabia was the 15th largest exporter to Turkey.
According to Turkish media outlet Cumhuriyet, the relations between the two countries are turbulent due to Turkey’s policy in the Gulf, military operations in Syria and the subsequent death of Khashoggi.
Tensions in politics also disrupted economic relations, and in fact a silent embargo was in place for two years.
For example, Saudi Arabia increased taxes on Turkish products from 5% to 15%, while products of Turkish origin, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, were treated negatively at customs, causing serious problems.
At a time when Turkey has threatening war with EU members Greece and Cyprus, and continues to violate the maritime space and continental shelf of the latter, the EU has been split between those who want to sanction Turkey, and those who do not.
Saudi Arabia however made the decisive decision as its split with Turkey and Qatar widens over the latters open support for the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization that directly threatens other Gulf states.