Turkey’s gold sales to Iran largely in bullion

Turkey’s gold sales to Iran largely in bullion

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey’s gold sales to Iran largely in bullion

More Iranians buy Turkish gold in a bid to evaluate their savings as they cannot trust foreign currencies because of the fluctuations, a businessman says. DAILY NEWS photo,

A large portion of Turkey’s multi-billion dollar gold sales to Iran have been in bullion form, according to data provided by the Customs and Trade Ministry.

Iranians psychologically show interest in keep their savings in gold because of the fluctuations in foreign exchange rates, said Hamid Kian (TİSİAD), the head of the Turkish Iranian Industrialist Association, in an interview published by Anatolia news agency yesterday.

Turkey’s statistics institute TÜİK was criticized for including gold sales to Iran in exports figures, while the body defended itself saying the methodology was in harmony with United Nations international trade codes.

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız denied in July that the country was paying Iran in gold for oil in a bid to bypass the Western sanctions on the Islamic republic. Tüpraş, the Turkish Petroleum Refineries Corporation was paying Iran in Turkish Liras and Botaş, the state-run pipeline company, was paying in U.S. dollars, Yıldız has said.

Some $3.2 billion of Turkey’s $4.4 billion of gold sales to Iran in the first half of the year were in bullion form, Kian said. This shows that the main motive is savings.

Iranians bought large amounts of gold, particularly in the second quarter of the year.

“Iranian society always buys gold. It is hard to know whether buying such large amounts of gold is a state policy,” Kian said. “But one should know that trade will never be halted. Just like the Turkish Central Bank buying gold, the Iranian Central Bank is also authorized to do so.”