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Russia detains 15 Turkish carpet factory workers

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Date: 3 December 2015 19:42

Russia has detained 15 Turkish citizens working at a carpet factory in Rostov, a town northeast of Moscow, despite all workers having valid residency and work permits Hurriyet Daily News reported

Russian officials and military units raided Merinos Russia, a company owned by Turkey’s largest carpet manufacturer Merinos, on Dec. 1.

Fifteen of the company’s workers were detained in the raid, some after being called to come to the factory from their homes.

All of the workers were taken by the officials to an immigration office, despite having valid residency and work permits, according to a statement by the factory’s director-general Erdoğan Şeker.

“Our company is making efforts to use all legal means against the intimidation policy against our staff and company, and the unjust act that comes from the exaggerated reactions of Russian officials due to the political dispute between our two countries,” the company announced in a written statement.

While the workers are expected to be deported after a 10-day waiting period, computers belonging to the factory were also confiscated by the Russian authorities.

Russia has announced a wide range of sanctions and has been laying obstacles to Turkish businesses operating inside Russia since Turkey’s downing of a Russian fighter jet on Nov. 24 for violating its airspace.

Among the sanctions imposed by Moscow is the end of a visa-free travel agreement between the two countries and a ban on Turkish agricultural produce. Russia has also called on its nationals to boycott Turkey as a tourist destination and announced that it is suspending talks on the joint Turkish Stream project to pipe gas to Turkey and southern Europe.

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