Turkey offers to become “a warehouse and a bridge” for

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Western sanctions imposed on Russia give the metal sector in Turkey a chance to act as a warehouse and a bridge, said the president of a profile association, citing the increased interest of Russian companies as well as EU companies that want to sell to Russia via Turkey, reports Reuters.

Cetin Tecdelioglu, the president of the Istanbul Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metals Exporters’ Association (IDDMIB), stated that Russia’s demand for products from Turkey that it can no longer purchase from European companies has increased, and Turkish companies have also received requests from European companies regarding the supply of Russia via Turkey. Tecdelioglu did not reveal the names of the respective companies, nor did he specify how many companies it would be, but he said that they are companies that produce copper, aluminum, kitchen utensils and machinery.

“What they (Russia) cannot buy from Germany, Italy and France, they buy from us. Separately, many EU companies intend to sell their products to Russia via Turkey,” said Cetin Tecdelioglu. “They want to use Turkey as a warehouse and a bridge, while Russia wants to supply Turkey,” Tecdelioglu said, adding that this represents a “historic opportunity” for Turkish companies.

Official data shows Turkey’s ferrous and non-ferrous exports rose 33 percent in the first six months of the year to 8.9 billion lira ($495.58 million), accounting for 6.2 percent of Turkey’s exports. In parallel, Turkey’s ferrous and non-ferrous exports to Russia increased by 26% year-on-year to 170 million dollars in the first seven months.

The dispute between Moscow and the West over the Russian invasion of Ukraine has given rise to concerns about a possible stoppage of Russian gas supplies to Europe, which could force the closure of some industrial production facilities in Europe.

Cetin Tecdelioglu appreciated that this could create a new opportunity for Turkish exporters of metal products.

Turkey criticized the Russian invasion of Ukraine, sent drones to Ukraine and tried to facilitate peace talks between the parties. On the other hand, Turkey has not supported the Western sanctions imposed on Moscow and tries to maintain close ties with Russia in the fields of trade, energy and tourism.

In addition, relations between the West and China have also deteriorated after the visit of the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, to Taiwan, which according to Tecdelioglu creates a new potential opportunity for Turkey.

“We have already received signals regarding some opportunities”, said Tecdelioglu.