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How Turkey is losing a top trade partner

Turkey is experiencing a serious but underreported crisis with its biggest export market in the Gulf.
Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (R) is welcomed by Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as he arrives for a meeting in Ankara February 28, 2012. REUTERS/Umit Bektas (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS ENVIRONMENT) - RTR2YKVT
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A sensational news report appeared in the Turkish press last week. The journal Gercek Hayat claimed that the United Arab Emirates' administration was involved in a secret, multinational operation to topple Turkey's government and even promote a military coup. The report from a sister publication of impassioned Turkish administration supporter Yeni Safak media group — which specializes in sensational and usually unsubstantiated reports — didn’t have much of an impact on Turkish public opinion.

Most Turks believe that the Gulf countries are dedicated supporters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. According to data from the Stock Market Council of Turkey, before every election in Turkey, Gulf emirates send billions of dollars to Turkish financial markets, contributing significantly to sustaining Erdogan’s economic success. The Gulf states invest extensively in the real estate and media sectors, to which Erdogan pays particular attention.

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