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Dozens of leather shops closed in Istanbul after loss of Russian market

Staff writer |
Some 40 percent of the shops in Istanbul’s leather exporting district, Zeytinburnu, have been closed down, leaving 3,000 people jobless.

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Tthe sector faces the risk to lose its largest market, Russia. The owners of the remaining shops have said their products were seized in Russia.

“The dream is over here. Dozens of leather shops have been closed in Zeytinburnu as the leather exports declined 80 percent,” said the head of the Leather Craftsmen and Tradesmen Committee of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, Nurettin Aydın.

A member of the Istanbul Chamber of Industry General Assembly, Hüseyin Demirci, said almost half of the businesses in Zeytinburnu were closed down.

According to businesspeople in Zeytinburnu, there had been more than 600 leather apparel sellers there until one year ago.

One shop owner, Kadir Erdoğan, said their shop was seized in Sochi after the jet crisis had erupted.

“We had $60,000 worth of goods in the shop. We wanted to sell these products to other shops, but we couldn’t as nobody accepted our products. A hot line was launched to notify [the government about] businesses selling Turkish goods.

“We left all of our products there,” he said, adding that most of their products appeal to Russians and they cannot sell them to Europeans, who have a different taste.”

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