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Turks in Saudi Arabia

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Turks in Saudi Arabia

Turks in Saudi Arabia
Total population
120,000[1] to 160,000[2]
Including those who have been naturalised:
Regions with significant populations
Riyadh, Jeddah, Mecca

Turks in Saudi Arabia (Turkish: Suudi Arabistan Türkleri) are either Turkish people who live in Saudi Arabia even though having been born outside Saudi Arabia, or are Saudi Arabian-born, but have Turkish roots. By Turkish roots, this could mean roots linking back to Turkey, the island of Cyprus or the communities of the Turkish diaspora.


Starting in the 1970s, economic relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia grew.[4] In 1977, there was 6,500 Turks in Saudi Arabia, 5,000 of which were officially reported workers.[5][6][7][8]

Emigration of Turkish workers to Saudi Arabia[9][10]
Year Population
1961–1973 4
1974–1980 26,739
1981–1985 107,994
1991–1995 150,654


There are some 2,100 Turkish-operated hairdresser shops, 3,200 restaurants, and 1,900 furniture stores in Saudi Arabia.[11]


Turkish people living in Saudi Arabia are Sunni Muslims. Turkish laborers returning from Riyadh seem to be less likely to espouse Shariah (Islamic law) than those living in European countries.[12]

Notable Turks in Saudi Arabia

See also


  1. ^ Harzig, Juteau & Schmitt 2006, 67.
  2. ^ Koslowski 2004, 41.
  3. ^ Karpat 2004, 12.
  4. ^ Fuller 2008, 125.
  5. ^ Hale 1981, 249.
  6. ^ Sirageldin 2003, 236.
  7. ^ Jung & Piccoli 2001, 140.
  8. ^ Unan 2009, 43.
  9. ^ Papademetriou & Martin 1991, 120.
  10. ^ Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 1997, 165.
  11. ^ Ergener 2002, 76.
  12. ^ Gerald Robbins. Fostering an Islamic Reformation. American Outlook, Spring 2002 issue.


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