Zafar Caglayan

Turkey’s Minister of the Economy says Western sanctions on Iran have had an adverse affect on Turkey’s economy.

Bloomberg reports that Zafar Chaglayan, Turkey’s Economy Minister  said during a trip to Washington that it is not just Iran that is suffering from these sanctions: Turkey and other countries also have to bear economic costs.

He indicated that the sanctions have driven up the price of oil that Turkey is importing, while its exports to Iran have shrunk by 20 percent.

Turkey was reportedly the sixth-biggest consumer of Iranian crude in the first half of 2011 and is said to buy seven percent of Iran’s oil exports.

Caglayan maintained that Turkey’s energy costs have risen by 40 percent compared to 2010.

U.S. and EU sanctions on Iranian oil exports have forced many countries to reduce or cut off their dealings with Iran’s National Oil Company. However, restrictions on purchase of Iranian oil, the second largest crude porducer in OPEC, has also pushed the prce of oil up.

Chaglayan said that Turkey is not bound by the unilateral sanctions imposed by the U.S., though it is committed to sanctions imposed by the United Nations General Assembly.

He added, however, that Turkey has decided to reduce its Iranian oil imports by 20 percent in response to U.S. sanctions.

Under those sanctions, consumers of Iranian oil have until June 28 to show the U.S. that they have significantly reduced their dealings with Iran or they could face their own sanctions from the world superpower.

Ten European countries and Japan have been already been exempted from U.S. sanctions because of their efforts to reduce dealings with Iran. Turkish financial institutions may become eligible for U.S. sanctions if the United States finds Turkey’s response to be insufficient.