Turkish authorities Thursday prohibited two ships at Sidon’s port loaded with 6,500 tons of scrap metal from importing their goods to Turkey, a source at the port told The Daily Star.
The source said the ships have since been waiting at Sidon’s port to determine an alternative export destination, likely to be Egypt. The ships were ready to leave for Turkey when its crew members and the owners of the goods were informed of the decision.
According to the source, the decision came in response to an announcement made by caretaker Economy Minister Raed Khoury on May 30 banning the import of biscuits and detergents from Turkey. Khoury justified the move by claiming the devaluation of the Turkish lira brought down the prices of those products, therefore adversely affecting Lebanese industries that produce similar items.
Turkish exports to Lebanon total nearly $780 million a year, while Lebanon’s exports to the country amount to around $120 million.
When Turkish Ambassador to Lebanon Hakan Cakil visited Sidon last week, he voiced his concerns to Lebanese officials about the government’s ban on certain Turkish imports.
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