Iranians sell cigarettes, tee and sugar for a very low price compared to those produced in Turkey. The volume of the illegal trade is so big that it now effects local businesses.
A local store owner, who asked to be mentioned anoynmous, says that in the past Kurds were selling Iranian goods in Turkey and Turkish goods in Iran. “But today the border trade, which is forbidden for us, is free for Iranians. They store Iranian goods in the hotels and they sell it to the shop owners” he said.
“It’s almost impossible to bring Iranian goods to Van. But Iranian citizens can do that easily because they bribe Turkish soldiers on the border. The AKP officials and soldiers get their share from border trade. Therefore Iranian citizens can bring Iranian goods to Van and sell it like it is legal. But for Kurds its strictly prohibited” another local shop owner said.