On Wednesday, January 26, the Saudi Arabia government has decided to lift the unofficial ban on Turkish goods, as per the reports.
The ban was imposed for around four years. Reportedly, the ban resulted in the decline of Turkish exports to Saudi Arabia from $2.7 billion (in 2018) to $189 million (in 2021). However, despite the ban on Turkish goods, during the first 11 months of 2021, Saudi exports to Turkey reached $3 million.
The decision has been taken amid the talks about Turkish President Recap Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Saudi Arabia, next month. In December 2021, Erdogan announced that he would visit Saudi in the month of February to discuss the Turkish exports’ issue with the officials of the kingdom.
A member of a Turkish commercial group, Kazem Taiji, said that Saudi is an excellent market for Turkey and expressed disappointment on the full closure of Saud’s Al Jazeera Gate in 2020 to all Turkish goods.
In the previous years, the relationship between Turkey and Saudi Arabia has been tense because of the diplomatic stress. The relation was also distorted after Turkey supported Qatar in blocking the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain in 2017.
The relationship almost reached its breaking point following the murder of US-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018. After the investigation for years, it was found that the journalist was killed after direct orders by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and at the time, Turkey strongly raised its voice and demanded justice.
However, in 2019, a massive step was taken by the Saudi’s Education Ministry, under which it ordered to modify history books and edited the “legacy of the Ottoman Empire”, referred it just as an “occupation”.
In January 2021, the Saudi-led alliance boycotted Qatar and since then, the relations between both small Gulf nations thawed.