Egyptians call for boycott of Turkish products
CAIRO - Anadolu Agency
Advocates of the boycott note that Egypt is a major importer of Turkish products.Egyptian writers and political movements have called for a boycott of Turkish products in response to what they describe as “unjustified” attacks on Egypt by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Advocates of the boycott note that Egypt is a major importer of Turkish products and that a boycott of the products would take a toll on the Turkish economy.
Egyptian lawyer Samir Sabri filed a lawsuit last week to force the Egyptian government to ban the entry of Turkish products into the country. A court is expected to rule on the case on Dec. 2.
Television anchor and writer Gamal Anayet has also called for a boycott of Turkish products and has even encouraged Egyptians to drop Turkey as a tourist destination.
“A boycott is a simple and thorough [means by] which we can affect Turkish policies,” Anayet said during his “New Evening” talk show on the private al-Tahrir channel.
“Turkish products have alternatives in Egypt,” he added, inviting Egyptians to buy local products instead of their Turkish counterparts.
Political analyst Michel Fahmi, for his part, called for a "strong public boycott" of all products, services and arts coming from Turkey.
He said striking at the economic interests of those who “harbor inimical” attitudes toward Egypt would cause them pain. “Economic sanctions will be much tougher than political sanctions,” Fahmi said.
Bassem Halaqa, the head of Egypt’s Tourist Guides Union, also called for a boycott of Turkey as a tourist destination, saying that supporting Egyptian tourism and the national economy were "patriotic duties."
Despite political tensions between the two states, some 30,125 Egyptians visited Turkey between January and April of this year, compared to 37,299 who visited the country in the corresponding period last year, according to Turkey’s Tourism Ministry.
The ministry added that some 10,600 Turkish tourists visited Egypt between January and April this year, compared with 25,289 who visited in the corresponding period last year.
Trade exchanges between Egypt and Turkey, meanwhile, reached a total of $5 billion last year, including $3.5 billion of Turkish exports to Egypt, according to Egypt’s Trade Ministry.
Around 418 Turkish companies also operate in Egypt, especially in the textile, food and petrochemical sectors.
Female writer Reem Eidi and the Congress Party, founded by former presidential candidate Amr Moussa, also joined the boycott calls for Egyptians, but they raised the stakes further, extending a call to the whole Arab world.
“The appropriate response will come through an Egyptian-Arab public boycott campaign against Turkish products and TV serials,” Congress Party Vice Chairman Tamer al-Zaydi said in a statement. “Egyptians and Arabs must also stop travelling to Turkey.”
Relations between Egypt and Turkey took a turn for the worse after Egypt’s military ousted elected President Mohamed Morsi in July of last year.
Tensions between the two countries reached their nadir last November, when Egypt declared the Turkish ambassador in Cairo “persona non grata” and Turkey responded in kind.
While addressing the U.N. General Assembly late last week, Erdoğan again lashed out at the new regime in Egypt. He accused the international community of lending legitimacy to Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, widely seen as the architect of Morsi’s ouster last year.