EghtesadOnline: Iran’s trade with Turkey totaled $1.07 billion during January-June to register a decrease of 72.54% compared with the first half of 2019, data released by Turkish Statistical Institute show.
Iran exported $417.5 million worth of goods to Turkey during the six months under review to register an 84.64% year-on-year drop.
Imports stood at $652.19 million, down 44.63% YOY.
Bilateral trade amounted to $267.08 million in June to register an 11.81% decline compared to June 2019. Exports to Turkey accounted for $85.81 million of the figure, down 41.83% YOY, while Turkey’s exports to Iran stood at $181.26 million, down by 16.71% YOY.
Iran was Turkey’s 33rd biggest trading partner during the period.
More specifically, Iran was 26th biggest export destination and 43rd biggest exporter of goods to the country during the six months.
The huge decline in bilateral trade comes as the two countries have been hit hard by the new coronavirus pandemic since early 2020. However, the trend seems to be reversing.
The report by the Turkish Statistical Institute shows bilateral trade in June reached $181.17 million, or a 210.91% rise in comparison with May.
Iran’s exports to Turkey increased by $43.47 million or 102.67% month-on-month, and its imports from Turkey increased by $137.7 million or 316.11% in June compared to May.
According to Spokesman of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration Rouhollah Latifi, commercial exchanges with Turkey are carried out via Razi railroad, adding that land roads are also active.
However, he added that flights between Iran and Turkey have not resumed yet.
“Turkey cancelled flight permits to and from Iran and Afghanistan in mid-July amid the outbreak of coronavirus,” Reza Jafarzadeh, the spokesperson of the Civil Aviation Organization of Iran, told Fars News Agency.
Turkey had gradually restarted international flights as of June 11, after it eased lockdown measures, Daily Sabah reported.
The chairman of Iran-Turkey Chamber of Commerce recently said land and rail borders with the neighboring country are open for trade, although each country only allows the entry of its own citizens.
Sa’adat Dehqan added that air routes are scheduled to reopen on Aug. 5.
On Feb. 23, Turkey closed its land borders with Iran and suspended all incoming flights from the country to stem the tide of the coronavirus.
“At present, the three border crossings are open round-the-clock but the traffic is slow and the average waiting time for trucks carrying Iranian products to Turkey and Europe is higher at Bazargan due to the strict supervision and monitoring of the Turkish government,” Dehqan was quoted as saying by Otaghiranonline.ir.
“Transportation is only possible by rail at Razi border checkpoint, Iran’s sole rail connection with the neighboring country. In addition, Turkish citizens are allowed to pass through Serow border-crossing. All in all, exports to Turkey and European countries through transshipment have normalized.”
Biggest Foreign Buyers of Real Estate in Turkey
Having purchased 2,628 homes in Turkey, Iranians were the biggest foreign buyers of real estate in the neighboring country during the first half of 2020, figures released by the Turkish Statistical Institute show.
According to the report, Iranians were followed by Iraqis with 2,359 house purchases, Russians with 927, Afghans with 806, Yemenis with 474 and Azerbaijanis with 431, according to Turkstat.gov.tr.
Foreigners bought a total of 14,262 homes in Turkey over the six-month period, registering a 29% fall compared with the similar period of last year. This decline is attributed to the coronavirus outbreak.
Out of the total sum, 6,902 homes were located in Istanbul, 2,708 in Antalya and 964 in Ankara.
In 2019, Iranians ranked the second biggest foreign buyers of real estate with 5,423 home purchases.
Iraqis, with 7,596 deals, were the biggest foreign buyers of homes in Turkey last year.
Iranians were followed by Russians with 2,893 purchases, Afghans with 2,191 and Yemenis with 1,564.
Foreigners bought a total of 45,483 homes in Turkey in 2019, registering a 14.7% rise compared with 2018.
Out of the total sum, 20,857 homes were located in Istanbul, 8,951 in Antalya, 2,539 in Ankara, 2,213 in Bursa and 1,696 in Yalova.
Iranians continue to take greater interest in investing in Turkey, according to a statement issued by Elit Citizenship and Investment Consultancy, which offers consultancy services to foreigners in Turkey on founding a company and making investments under the brand of VIPTurkishPass.
While 3 million Iranian tourists visit Turkey annually (before the coronavirus pandemic), a remarkable increase has also been seen in the number of Iranians investing in Turkey, Daily Sabah reported.
In the last few years, Iranians ranked first in applying for Turkish citizenship through investment.
By implementing a series of policies aimed at attracting foreign direct investment in recent years, Turkey has succeeded in attracting many investors from regional countries, especially from the Middle East.
After the "Turkuaz Kart" (Turquoise Card), a practice similar to the US Green Card application, was launched in 2016, it became possible to get Turkish citizenship by investing in the country as of 2017.
In September 2018, the lowering of the minimum investment limit in the Citizenship Through Investment Program to $250,000 in real-estate investments led to an increase in foreigners' interest in the country.
While a significant portion of FDI in Turkey has been made in the real-estate industry, there has also been a remarkable increase in indirect capital investment in recent times.