Turkey Tourist Arrivals From Iran Decreased By 80%

ICBPS- Iran Turkey Trade holds a negative rate as buoyant Iranian tourist arrivals to Turkey decreased by 80 percent due to Iran border closure over the Coronavirus outbreak. Turkey has previously hosted millions of tourists from its neighboring nation Iran each year before the COVID19 hit the countries worldwide.

The number of Iranian tourists to Turkey had reportedly exceeded over two million each year — border closure with Iran due to spreading Coronavirus, however, impacted Iranian tourists’ number to Turkey in 2020.

Turkey closed its border with Iran and halted incoming flights as a precaution to stop the potential spread of Coronavirus, shortly after Iran death toll reported.

According to the latest assessments of Iran and Turkey trade this year, not only the Turkey oil import from Iran has declined by approximately 99%, but rather, the number of arrivals from the neighboring nation this year has decreased by more than 80% compared to last year.

Iran’s trade value with Turkey has dropped by 67 percent in the first seven months of 2020. The value of trade between Tehran and Ankara fell 67 percent, compared to last year’s same period.

Tehran Chamber of Commerce Industries Mines and Agriculture (TCCIMA) put Iran-Turkey seven-months trade as $4.2 billion as the value has dropped 67 percent.

Of this trade, Iran exported about $ 509 million to Turkey, and in return, it imported $ 878 million from Turkey, which decreased by 82 percent and 37 percent, respectively, compared to the same period in 2019.

Iran’s trade balance with Turkey dropped sharply in the first seven months of 2020, mainly due to a drastic decline in Iran’s oil export to its western neighbor, according to state-run ILNA.

A drastic drop in Iran’s export of oil products to Turkey has been reported as the primary reason for the high decrease of bilateral trade between the two neighbors during the mentioned period of time, Tehran Times quoted the TCCIMA.

Surveying the monthly-trend of Iran’s trade with Turkey since the outset of 2019 shows its export value to Turkey was higher than import from the country (in the first five months of 2019). In June 2019, however, the value of Iran’s export to Turkey was lower than its import from the country, and it continued until almost the end of July.

According to officials, it coincided with a 70 percent drop in Iran’s export to Turkey in June.

Iran’s export to Turkey drastically declined by 82 percent in the first seven months of 2020 due to a 99 percent drop in Iran’s oil export to its neighbor.

According to the Tehran Times, Tehran sees trade with Ankara as key in confronting the U.S. sanctions that have sought to undermine Iran’s oil export.

Further, Petrochemical products account for a significant share of Iran’s export to Turkey, however, the sanctions have made it challenging to settle payments between businesses in two neighbors.

Interviewing with SNN, the head of the Iran-China Joint Chamber of Commerce, Majidreza Hariri said “The trade balance will be negative if oil is not sold.”

In June, state-run media reported that the intense drop in Iran’s import occurred among its main trading partners, with 57.8 percent from India, followed by Turkey with a decrease of 36.1 percent.

Iran’s import from China, its principal trading partner, fell 18.3 percent last spring, and Iran’s export to the Chinese partner fell 28 percent. Iran’s export to Iraq, the second-largest destination for Iranian goods, also fell 37 percent during the same period. According to the reports in June, the largest decrease in Iran’s export value occurred with 88.8% to Turkey.

Previously, Mehdi Mir Ashrafi, the director-general of Iran’s customs, said the border closure due to the COVID19 outbreak has exacerbated the drop in Iran’s trade balance.


The Institute of Capacity Building for Political Studies (ICBPS) is a non-governmental research institute focusing on political studies, international security, and international relations.


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