The economic confrontation between Russia and Turkey that resulted from Ankara’s downing of a Russian warplane continues to “inflict heavy damage on Turkey”, according to the news website Al-Monitor.
Ankara’s downing a Russian warplane last year finally led to “economic warfare” between the two countries and a subsequent Russian embargo which has already dealt a serious blow to the Turkish economy, the news website Al-Monitor reported.According to Al-Monitor, the first large victim of the standoff was the Turkish dairy company Aynes Food Industry and Trade Inc., which had hoped to foray into the Russian market to try to resolve recent setbacks.
“We lost time to seek alternative markets as a result of the crisis. Our products perished at the [Russian] border gates because of the embargo and we ran out of cash,” he was quoted by Al-Monitor as saying.
He was echoed by Murat Ersoy, the owner of ETS Tours, one of the largest tour operators in Turkey, who cited a significant fall in the number of tourists as a result of the crisis.Sharing Ersoy’s standpoint is Turkish economist Guldem Atabay Sanli from Egeli & Co. Investments.
“Last year, overall tourism income decreased 15 percent, falling to $26.6 billion. We expect this decline to reach 30 percent with the Russian effect this year,” Sanli said.
Another Turkish economist, Atilla Yesilada, of Global Source, predicted that Russia will expand its sanctions against Turkey in the immediate future.
He drew attention to the fact that Turkey’s business world and the Turkish government presumed that “the Russia crisis would be temporary and would ease in time.”
“They thought that the economic relations would be kept away from political relations. However, their predictions were wrong. The sanctions of Russia and its regional allies will last years and will leave permanent damage,” he pointed out.
Al-Monitor quoted Orhan Okmen, president of the rating bureau JCR Turkey, as saying that if the crisis persists, “the economic challenges for the Turkish companies will increase in 2016 and the sanctions’ costs to the food, tourism, construction and retail sectors will be about $15 billion.”
Russia imposed sanctions on Turkish goods, air travel, and employment contracts following Ankara’s decision in November 2015 to shoot down a Russian Su-24 jet which Ankara claimed violated Turkish airspace.In early January, Ankara appealed to the World Trade Organization, arguing that the sanctions allegedly violate trade rules. Moscow responded by saying that its economic actions are fully within the framework of the WTO rules.