Will Iraq Boycott Turkey?

Najiba Najib, another member of the economics and investment committee, also believes a boycott would not have the desired effect.

“It is not possible for Iraq to pressure Turkey economically to force it to withdraw its troops," Najib told Al-Monitor. "Iraq is a consumer country, and blocking the borders with Turkey would result in a rise in prices in the Iraqi markets. This would further burden the citizens financially, and thus it will not force Turkey out of Iraq.”

To successfully boycott Turkey, Iraq would need to provide comparable alternative products from local and international sources, according to Ahmed Kanani, who heads the committee. “Iraq imports goods worth millions of dollars from Turkey. The Iraqi markets are filled with Turkish products, and finding new sources for imports requires time and plans,” he told Al-Monitor.

Kanani believes that, given enough time, “it would be possible to impede dealing with Turkish traders and businessmen and pressure Turkish companies in Iraq, and thus force them to [pressure] their own government to take positive political positions toward Iraq and withdraw troops from Iraqi territory.”

There is no doubt that implementing a boycott is not as easy as simply calling for one. Even if an economic boycott were feasible, it would be impossible to get parliament to approve it because so many parties have strong relations with Turkey. A lot of companies and contracts are managed by politicians and influential business people who would not be pleased with the deterioration of economic or even political ties with Turkey.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi market remains overly dependent on Turkish goods that cannot be dispensed with abruptly.

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