Apple currently enjoys a 15% market share in Turkey, one of the most technologically engaged countries in the Middle East but this could be about to drop sharply.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has encouraged his population to stop buying American electronics after a row about tarifs imposed on Turkish Steel and Aluminium exports.
Erdogan has specifically singled out Apple and said that consumers should switch from iPhones to Samsung devices or phones made by Vestel, a local Turkish smartphone manufacturer.
As a result of the tariffs, the president has repeatedly claimed that the country is the target of economic warfare and asked Turks to sell foreign currency and buy Turkish Lira to maximise local purchasing and improve the economic independence of the country
The Financial Times said: “On Tuesday, the Turkish president vowed that the nation of 81m would no longer buy from Apple or other American technology producers. “If they have the iPhone, there is Samsung on the other side,” he told ruling party members. “In our own country there is the Venus.”
The US administration is angry with Turkey’s handling of a US pastor being held on terrorism charges within the country and has also sanctioned two Turkish ministers for their handling of the case.
No Turkish Delight
The Turkish Lira, the official currency, has crashed this week due to the increased economic volatility brought about by the decisions. It is currently not clear if the President is stating his personal view to boycott American good such as Apple products or if he intends to use legislation to enforce action.
President Trump himself has also attacked Apple previously, calling on Americans to boycott Apple products before coming into office, despite using an iPhone to send the tweet at that time.