World Economy

Downed jet dispute with Russia may cost Turkey $9B

Axed ties with Russia could cost Turkey as much as $9 billion, the country's deputy prime minister said Monday.

Current tensions with Moscow are expected to shave 0.4 percent off of annual gross domestic product (GDP), costing $9 billion in a worst case scenario, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek told Turkish broadcaster NTV, according to Reuters.

Similar estimates were released Monday by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which said that if Russian sanctions were to be "fully applied" over the next year, they could knock 0.3 to 0.7 percentage points off of Turkey's annual output.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech in Ankara, Turkey on December 3, 2015.
Murat Kaynak | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Russia has restricted tourism, clamped down on agricultural imports and set stringent visa limits, in the days after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet on the Syrian border on November 24, killing one of the two pilots on board.

"Turkey's tourism, construction, food and consumer products sectors have already been hit and will feel the heat in 2016 at least," Anthony Skinner, director at risk analysis firm Verisk Maplecroft told CNBC.

Turkey's GDP came in just under $800 billion in 2014, and was last forecast to grow by 3 percent in 2015 according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, though those estimates were released before the Russian jet was shot down.

The two countries' economies have become increasingly intertwined. Russia is now the seventh-largest exports markets for Turkey, accounting for 3.8 percent of total exports and 0.7 percent of Turkey's GDP. Russian tourists, meanwhile, made up 12.2 percent of the 37 million tourists in Turkey last year, spending an estimated $3 billion, the EBRD reported.

This is how Russia could hurt Turkey's economy

"Sanctions were meant to inflict maximum pain, but the impact won't be as large as Russians would have liked it to be," Lilit Gevorgyan, a senior economist at IHS Global Insight, told CNBC by phone.

But sanctions have definitely increased worries amongst Turkey's investors, who are now eyeing geopolitical tensions with Moscow on top of a Syrian war on its doorstep, Gevorgyan said.

Russia still has more weapons in its arsenal to increase the pressure on Turkey, Skinner says, particularly by cutting energy exports over winter. Russian sanctions are likely to erode government revenue streams, and make it harder to reduce double-digit employment, Skinner added.

Russian gas accounts for nearly 56 percent of Turkey's energy imports, according to the EBRD, and while Turkey has said it might be able to substitute supplies with those from Azerbaijan and Qatar, it might not be so simple, Skinner said.