Sudden Turkey -Saudi Arabia face off

Lutfe Ali Mahabbat, Contributing Correspondent,
Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

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Saudi Arabia and Turkey, two important countries in the Middle East, have suddenly faced dramatic polarization. Saudi Arabia has imposed an "unofficial embargo" on Turkish imports. As a result of the confrontation between the two influential countries in the Middle East, there is a hint of renewed tension in the whole region.

The Saudi-Turkish conflict is not new in Middle East geopolitics. The monarchy, originally called Saudi Arabia, was formed in a revolt against British Ottoman sultanate with British support. As a result, the two countries, though Sunni-minded Muslim countries, carry an ancient history of political conflict.

The three countries are also involved in the recent internal ideological crisis in the Middle East. On the one hand, the countries and governments of Shiite Islam led by Iran, on the other hand, Salafi Islamist Saudi Arabia and on the third hand, the hardliner Sunni Turkey are working to expand their political, economic, military and geo-strategic dominance.

Apparently, the war in the Middle East is in the Saudi-Iranian equation, but in the end, the ongoing crisis in the Middle East has turned into a triangle, with Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey at three corners. Turkey is now involved in Saudi Arabia's strategic war on Iran. However, Turkey and Iran are already hostile to the Azerbaijan-Armenia issue in Syria and the Caucasus.

As a result, no one is in a position to unite against anyone. The three sides have come to the place of mutual war. Ideologically, politically, economically, militarily and strategically, each country is now in conflict with the other two.

Although the Iran-Saudi animosity spread to the military, the Saudi-Turkish conflict was hidden. But this time it has touched the economic field. In fact, Western-backed Saudi Arabia has adopted a strategy of shutting down the country's market to punish Turkey. But Saudi Arabia, which is dependent on Western powers, is moving cautiously and strategically against a militarily strong Turkey. Avoiding direct confrontation, the Saudi administration has called the move against Turkey an "unofficial embargo."

Experts on the Middle East said the Saudi government is pushing for a boycott of Turkish products. This campaign has become increasingly popular. Even the Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) of the Saudi government has announced a ban on imports of all types of meat, fish, eggs and milk and dairy products from Turkey. The Turkish Ministry of Commerce also confirmed Saudi Arabia's decision. The government has informed the country's export companies of the Saudi decision.

The international media has been reporting on the 'Turkish boycott' campaign across Saudi Arabia for the past few months. Under the umbrella of the government, various organizations have been calling on the people to boycott everything Turkey has done in response to the "continued hostility against the Saudi leadership, the country and the Saudi people." Somewhere the slogan has been given, 'No investment in Turkey, no imports from Turkey and no tourism in Turkey.'

Saudi chambers, businesses and chain supermarkets are responding to the Turkish boycott. In addition to Akhayam, Saudi Arabia's largest supermarket, Danube, Tamimi and Panda Chain Shop said in a statement that they would not sell any products made in Turkey once their current stock ran out.

Meanwhile, large hoardings are being put up in Saudi Arabian shops urging people not to buy Turkish products. At the same time, there has been a massive campaign on social media on the hash tag 'Boycott-Turkish Products' for the last one month. As a result, Turkish goods are being emptied from store shelves, and many buyers are reluctant to reach out to the rest.

Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries have accused Turkey of "running internal problems" in the Middle East. As a result, Arab countries now see Turkey, like Iran, as a threat to Middle East security. They allege that Turkey is supporting terrorist militias, inciting extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood. This is threatening the security of Arab countries. In addition, relations between Saudi Arabia and Turkey have soured since the assassination of journalist Jamal Khasogi at the Saudi consulate in Turkey, the latest manifestation of which has been the unofficial imposition of "unofficial sanctions" on Saudi-imposed Turkey.