Saudi Arabia closes Turkish faculties amid unofficial boycott
Saudi Arabia reportedly closed eight Turkish faculties within the cities of Mecca and Medina final yr, as Turkish exports to Riyadh fell amid an unofficial boycott of Saudi Arabia.
Two officers from Turkey’s Training Ministry informed Turkey’s parliament final week that regardless of their finest efforts, they could not overcome Saudi bureaucratic hurdles to maintain faculties open.
“They have been closed de facto on the finish of 2020. We try all doable means by diplomatic channels to reopen these faculties,” Ahmet Bilgili, director basic of training overseas, stated throughout a parliamentary briefing.
One other Turkish official, Burcu Dalkiran, stated tensions over faculties had eased barely since a cellphone name between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and King Salman of Saudi Arabia final November.
“ We try all doable means by diplomatic channels to reopen these faculties ”
– Ahmed Bilgili, Turkish Ministry of Training
In a separate assertion to Turkish information company Anadolu on Monday, the Turkish training ministry stated 26 different Turkish faculties in Saudi Arabia have been nonetheless functioning and efforts have been underway to reopen the others.
Riyadh stepped up efforts to focus on the Turkish economic system final yr after a Turkish courtroom ruling to simply accept two separate indictments in opposition to Saudi officers allegedly concerned within the homicide of Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in October. 2018.
Relations between the 2 regional powers are at their lowest for the reason that homicide of the Saudi journalist, whose homicide was reportedly ordered by the CIA by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman himself.
Since October, the Saudi authorities has systematically pressured native companies to not commerce with Turkish firms and to take away Turkish merchandise from their cabinets.
Huge drop in exports
Turkish exports to Saudi Arabia fell 92% in February, from $ 290 million to only $ 21 million year-on-year, in line with information launched by the Meeting of Turkish Exporters (TIM). In January, Turkish exports additionally suffered an extra 92 p.c drop.
Statistics present a gentle slowdown in Turkish exports since October. Consequently, Turkey’s annual exports to Saudi Arabia declined 24% in 2020, from $ 3.1 billion to $ 2.3 billion.
Final yr, Erdogan tried to treatment the scenario by talking with King Salman, and the 2 agreed to carry consultations on the matter.
Nonetheless, Turkish International Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s first assembly along with his Saudi counterpart, Faisal bin Farhan, in November finally failed to vary the scenario.