Ankara, 14 Safar 1437/27 November 2015 (MINA) – Osman Bagdatlioglu, the chairman of Turkey’s Ornamental Plants and Products Exporters Union, said that several trucks loaded with flowers returned back to Turkey on Wednesday after Russian authorities blocked their entry into the country.
“Six trucks came back yesterday. We stopped all deliveries. We stopped deliveries by planes as well,” Bagdatlioglu told Al Jazeera.
“Officially there are no obstacles, but we come across unofficial ones. This will have a massive impact on our commercial segment in short and middle terms. In Europe, one of our largest partners is Russia,” he said.
The goods blockage was also reported by Adnan Dalgakiran, a member of the Turkish Exporters Assembly, who tweeted on Wednesday evening: “Entry of Turkish goods has been blocked at Russia customs.”
Another businessman, who wished to remain anonymous, said that all trucks suspected of carrying Turkish products are asked to wait at the border, regardless of their license plate.
“At the border, they check every single truck, whatever license plate it carries. They check everything about the product,” he said.
“They count the products, check their weight, etc, and find an excuse to make them wait or send them back.”
Meanwhile, several Turkish citizens confirmed to Al Jazeera that Russia was sending back Turkish tourists trying to enter the country by finding “excuses” and was delaying entry of Turks with work or residence permit.
Turkish and Russian tourists have been able to travel between the two countries without a visa since 2011, following an agreement signed between the two countries.
Cevdet Seylan, a businessman with trade relations in the city of Kazan, said that Russian authorities made him and other Turkish nationals wait at Kazan’s airport for an hour while entering the country on Wednesday.
“Police went to our residence addresses, checked our information and then we were allowed to go into the country,” Seylan told Al Jazeera quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
“On [the evening of] November 24, there have also been raids on Turkish residences and cafes that Turks go to.
“Students and professionals were detained. They were released after being questioned.”
Turkish Airlines officials told Al Jazeera that Turkish authorities did not warn the company about any restrictions over using Russian air space. The state-owned carrier added flights continued as normal.
Russian authorities had hinted at new commercial measures against Turkey following the downing of the country’s warplane. (T/P001/R03)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)