Erdogan embarks on Gulf tour with hopes for investment to heal Turkey’s strained economy
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reached Saudi Arabia on Monday for the first stop of a multi-nation Gulf tour that includes Qatar and the UAE between July 17 – 19.
The trip follows Erdogan’s re-election in May, with the president embracing “high hopes” for investment and finance as Turkey looks to ease chronic inflation, budget strains and a weakening currency.
He arrived at the venue of a Saudi – Turkish business forum in Jeddah, welcomed by several officials of the Kingdom, Saudi state-run al-Ekhbariya television showed.
Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, met Erdogan late Monday night, according to the Saudi Press Agency.
“Investments And A Financial Dimension”
Deadly earthquakes devastated a substantial portion of Turkey earlier this year, with the death toll surpassing 50,000 in days.
Investments and funding from the Gulf have been helping relieve pressure on the country’s economy since 2021, when Ankara started putting in major diplomatic efforts to repair relations with the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Before departing on the trip, Erdogan told a news conference at an Istanbul airport: “This visit has two main topics: investments and a financial dimension.”
The tour is expected to prompt Gulf countries to make direct investments of about $10 billion initially in domestic assets, two senior Turkish officials had mentioned previously.
Erdogan’s Efforts To Execute A U-turn
Turkish Vice President Cevdet Yilmaz and Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek travelled to the Emirates last month, meeting UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and discussing “economic cooperation opportunities” with counterparts.
Yilmaz and Simsek were appointed to their roles after Erdogan got re-elected in last month’s closely contested elections. It’s part of the president’s efforts to execute a U-turn after years of unorthodox economic policy that sent net foreign reserves to a record low and inflation soaring.