How do Turkish and Saudi companies circumvent the unofficial sanctions?


Turkish companies have recently started exporting their products from other countries to circumvent the unofficial boycott of their goods by Saudi Arabia.

According to Reuters, in a report referring to the unofficial sanctions imposed by Saudi Arabia on Turkey, and the unprecedented reduction in exports from Turkey to Saudi Arabia, Turkish export companies have taken new measures to continue their work.


According to the report, these Turkish products went to other countries, and from there, after changing the “Made in Turkey” label, they renamed them to Arab countries and exported them to Saudi Arabia.

 Reuters refers to the ban as an unofficial boycott.

According to the report, Turkish trade to Saudi Arabia has officially decreased by 93% to 38 million dollars in the past two months, but Turkish products to Oman and Lebanon have increased by 200 to 400%.

“The export of ready-made clothes for recent reforms is sent to Serbia and Bulgaria and from there to Saudi Arabia,” said Saraf Fiyat, head of the Turkish Garment Industry Council.

Some Saudi business circles are also participating in the process of circumventing the unwritten sanctions imposed by Saudi officials on Turkey.

Meanwhile, three major Saudi trading companies said in the report that Turkish companies had begun negotiations to resume trade with Saudi Arabia, as no alternative to Turkish companies’ products was found.

In particular, Saudi officials have officially refused to impose any sanctions against Turkey.


According to Reuters, the intensification of regional rivalries between Saudi Arabia and Turkey caused tensions between the two countries.

The Egyptian military coup in 2013, the Gulf blockade on Qatar, the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in 2018, and Turkey’s policy in this regard, prompted Saudi Arabia to suddenly boycott Turkish goods, starting from September 2020.

In this regard, Maersk, the largest transport company in the world, announced to its customers that goods sent from Turkey may be stuck in Saudi customs.

According to the report, shipments coming from Turkey include some entry restrictions or delays in customs clearance, and they may stop at the terminal for a long time, or arrive late to the destination … or get stuck in customs altogether.

An economic activist also told the media that he had seen with his own eyes that Saudi officials said that they did not want the goods written on them “made in Turkey.”