In 2022, Russian citizens opened more than 1.3 thousand new legal entities in Turkey, which is 670% more than in the whole of 2021. This was reported by Bloomberg with reference to data from the Turkish analytical center The Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey.
In second place were immigrants from Iran, but the agency does not provide specific data. In addition to opening new legal entities, the Russians have become the main buyers of Turkish real estate, as well as leaders in the withdrawal of funds to the country. The agency notes that the war in Ukraine has actually turned Turkey into a haven for Russian money, and given the aggravation of relations between Western countries with Iran, also for the citizens of the Islamic Republic.
The conclusions of the analytical center indicate that the pressure of the European Union and the United States against Turkey is justified: the country is being used as a logistics hub for exporting Western products to Russia, bypassing sanctions. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan refused to join Western sanctions, explaining such an approach as necessary to continue a constructive dialogue between the parties to the conflict.
However, the excessive economic activity of the Russians and the Russian authorities in Turkey attracted the special attention of the Western authorities, who have been putting pressure on Ankara since mid-summer 2022. First, Turkey had to abandon the work in the republic of the Mir payment system, with the help of which Russian companies and authorities circumvented financial sanctions. In the future, Western countries increased pressure due to cooperation with Russian legal entities. At the moment, the main focus of Western countries is aimed at preventing the re-export of sanctioned goods to Russia.
On March 1, Turkey began to impose bans on goods against which sanctions have been imposed. Moreover, the Turkish authorities gave the European Union assurances that Western requirements for high-tech and other sanctioned products would be met. After the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, Russia's neighboring countries dramatically increased the volume of exports of goods to Russia. Turkey, Armenia, Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates became the leaders of re-export.