06:10 GMT +317 July 2019
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    Cold Turkey: Russian Restrictions Contributing to Ankara's Economic 'Chill'

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    The next few months may see a further chill in the Turkish economy, which could create a tangible problem for the entire country against the background of new Russian business and travel restrictions, according to the New York Times.

    It seems that Russian sanctions have added to a chill in the Turkish economy, which could ride roughshod over the whole country in the next couple of months, the New York Times reported.

    According to the newspaper, "a chill has already settled over Turkey's economy as exports to China and the Middle East falter."

    "And as Russia has halted most tourism to Turkey and threatened to stop food imports from the country after Turkish F-16 fighter jets shot down a Russian combat jet along the Syrian border last Tuesday, the risk of further economic trouble is clear," the New York Times said.

    The newspaper recalled that Russia was Turkey's second largest market for exports, after Germany.

    In this regard, the newspaper referred to the city of Eskisehir, which "exports about $30 million worth of cookies, cakes, crackers and other foods to Russia," which will certainly face tough times ahead, given  the current chill in ties between Moscow and Ankara.

    Also, Russia had been one of Turkey's largest sources of tourists until 2014, when the fall of the ruble and Western sanctions against Russia started "steeply eroding the number of Russians who could afford to travel."

    "The decline in tourism was a worry for economists here even before the Russian jet was shot down," the newspaper said.

    Additionally, it stressed that natural gas remains Russia's main export to Turkey, and that Russia currently supplies at least 60 percent of Turkey's needs, something that the New York Times notes remains free of Russian sanctions.

    The newspaper quoted Erinc Yeldan, the dean of the economics faculty at Bilkent University near Ankara, as saying that Turkey's international clout may well be damaged by the deterioration in Russian-Turkish relations.

    "More important than the dollar value of trade sanctions would be whether the dispute with Russia affects international confidence that Turkey needs to continue attracting enough foreign investment to offset its chronic trade deficits," Yeldan pointed out.

    On Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to boost national security and introduce economic measures against Turkey.

    The measures include an end to visa-free travel to Russia for Turkish citizens after January 1, 2016 and the restriction of the activities of Turkish organizations in Russia, according to the Kremlin’s press service.

    Moreover, Russian employers will not be allowed to hire Turkish citizens as of January 1, 2016.


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