* Turkish exporters see increased demand from Russia
* Economy Minister says Turkey must seize opportunity
* Greece says Turkey exploiting trade war
(Adds Economy Minister, Greek comment)
By Nevzat Devranoglu and Ceyda Caglayan
ISTANBUL, Aug 12 Turkish companies are enjoying
a rise in orders from Russia as their government eyes a
lucrative long-term opportunity from Moscow's ban on imported
Mehmet Buyukeksi, head of the Turkish Exporters Assembly
(TIM), said he expected a significant increase in poultry and
seafood exports to Russia, and that Turkey could also meet
increased Russian demand for fruit and vegetables.
"Demand from Russia for Turkish products increased after
limits to trade with the U.S. and EU were introduced," Buyukeksi
said in written answers to questions from Reuters. Turkey was
the 5th leading supplier of food to Russia with $1.68 billion
worth of trade in 2013.
Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said Moscow's ban - a
response to Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis - provided
an opportunity for Turkey to bolster its exports not only of
food, but also consumer goods.
"I see Russia as an opportunity for Turkey, I don't think
the problems between Russia and the West are long-term and
sustainable," Zeybekci told Reuters in an interview on Monday.
"We should make this opportunity a strong, long-term,
permanent and corporate one ... We are in talks to meet their
needs and make the most of this opportunity," he said.
Turkey and Latin American nations like Brazil look likely to
emerge as key winners from Russia's decision to ban most EU and
U.S. food imports.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced the
one-year ban on Thursday on meat, fish, dairy, fruit and
vegetables from the United States, the EU's 28 member states,
Norway - a major exporter of salmon - Canada and Australia.
Zeybekci said Turkey had been in talks with Russia on
deepening trade long before the ban, including on Turkey's
possible involvement in a customs union between Russia and
Central Asian states including Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
Buyukeksi said his organisation was working closely with the
economy and agriculture ministries to simplify procedures for
exporting to Russia.
"We expect a Russian delegation to visit Turkey next week
within this framework," he said.
Russia has become the world's biggest consumer of EU fruit
and vegetables by far, the second biggest buyer of U.S. poultry
and a major global consumer of fish, meat and dairy products, so
the ban opens up big opportunities for others.
Analysts said last week Turkish poultry companies such as
Banvit and Pinar Et would benefit from the
start of processed white meat imports to Russia from Turkey.
Long-time rival Greece accuses Turkey, an EU candidate
nation and member of the NATO military alliance, of seeking to
exploit the situation and of behaviour that does not befit a
country seeking membership of the European Union.
"The foreign ministry has been clear that it is not possible
for partners in NATO and the European Union or candidate
countries for the EU, Turkey among them, to be exploiting this
trade war and to not follow the policy of the EU," Greek Deputy
Foreign Minister Dimitris Kourkoulas told Greek Skai TV.
(Additional reporting by George Georgiopoulos in Athens and
Asli Kandemir in Ankara; Writing by Daren Butler and Ece
Toksabay; Editing by Nick Tattersall and Mark Trevelyan)