Mar 12 2018

Turkey imports meat from Russia for political reasons

Controversial trade deals to import meat from foreign countries are being signed for "political reasons," the Cumhuriyet newspaper quoted the Turkish agriculture minister as saying.

Turkey’s overseas meat purchases have been discussed widely since the beginning of 2018, with many Turks concerned they signal weakness in domestic livestock production. In January, Turkey signed a trade agreement with Serbia, which also included meat imports from Serbia. Turkey also started purchasing meat from Bosnia-Herzegovina in mid-2017. 

“Turkey does not have a serious shortage of meat, generally since for political reasons you need to import from countries where you also export, such exchanges may occur with some goods,’ said Turkey’s Minister of Food Agriculture and Livestock Ahmet Eşref Fakıbaba during an event organized for the International Women’s Day.

On Sunday, Russia’s Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev said in an interview with TASS that they expected Turkey to soon allow Russian meat, dairy and fish products into its market. Fakıbaba denied Tkachev's claim, saying that there is no deal between two countries for meat trade. 

According to Fakıbaba, if percentage of exports to a particular country is high, then the importing country may say “we purchase a lot from you, what can you purchase from us?”. Fakıbaba said that the amount of the meat to be imported from Russia is marginal and the only concern is to balance the trade.