New turf war between Saudi Arabia and Turkey

New turf war between Saudi Arabia and Turkey

RIYADH/ISTANBUL: The head of Saudi Arabia’s Chambers of Commerce has called for a boycott of Turkish products amid reports from merchants that animosity between Ankara and Riyadh is hindering the flow of goods between the two regional powers.

Saudi Arabia and Turkey have been at odds for some years over foreign policy and attitudes towards political Islamist groups. The murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi’s Istanbul consulate in 2018 escalated tensions sharply.

Earlier this year the two countries blocked some of each other’s news websites.

“A boycott of everything Turkish, be it imports, 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, country and citizens,” businessman Ajlan al-Ajlan tweeted on Saturday.

The Saudi Chambers of Commerce is a non-government group of private sector business people. The Saudi government’s communications office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

For over a year, some Saudi and Turkish traders have speculated that Saudi Arabia was enacting an informal boycott of imports from Turkey.