Will Iraq Boycott Turkey?

By Adnan Abu Zeed for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. 

As Turkey continues to thumb its nose at Iraq, thousands of Iraqi Sadrist protesters surrounded the Turkish Embassy on Oct. 18 in Baghdad and demanded that Ankara remove its troops from the Bashiqa base near Mosul. Meanwhile, Iraq’s parliament is mulling the effectiveness of a potential economic boycott against Turkey.

Parliament member Ali Abd al-Salman told the media Oct. 12 that an economic boycott is necessary “to force Turkey to withdraw its troops.”

However, things have escalated beyond mere calls for a boycott. Rahim al-Darraji, a parliament member representing Al-Mouwaten bloc, called for “burning Turkish goods in the streets.”

And some Iraqis seem to be taking serious steps toward waging economic war on Turkey.

For example, the provincial council of Basra decided Oct. 16 to stop hiring Turkish companies for projects, especially in the oil business, in addition to stopping Turkish nationals from entering Basra International Airport and preventing the circulation of Turkish goods in the province.

In what seemed like a serious action rather than a simple demand, the Karbala provincial council on Oct. 15 threatened to expel Turkish companies operating in the province if Turkey insists on keeping its troops in Iraq. Resentment against Turkey is even growing on the street: On Oct. 9, Iraqi workers expelled officials from a Turkish company for taking down a Shiite religious banner.

Iraqi boycotts against Turkey are not new. The Baghdad provincial council voted in December to boycott Turkish products and prevent new deals with Turkish companies.

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