Saudi Arabia closes five Turkish schools in Mecca, Medina

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Saudi Arabia, which has maintained an unofficial boycott on Turkish products since 2019, has closed five Turkish schools in Mecca and Medina, Sözcü newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Despite all efforts by the Turkish authorities, Saudi Arabia closed the schools at the end of 2020, it said, citing Ahmet Emre Bilgili, a senior official of Turkey’s Education Ministry.

“We are working to reopen the schools,” Bilgili said.

Diplomatic relations between Ankara and Riyadh remain fraught after a political crisis between the two countries erupted over the murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in 2018, prompting Saudi business groups including the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry to call for a boycott on Turkish products.

In October, following a statement by Turkish President Recep Tayyip accusing some Gulf countries of pursuing destabilising policies in the region, Saudi authorities have urged citizens to boycott everything Turkish, whether that be imports, investments or tourism.

Ahval

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