Turkey is still considered a developing country. However, with almost half or its population under 20 years or age, it offers a huge potential in human resources. In recent years, Turkey bas achieved significant growth and momentum in industrial production, basic infrastructure, foreign trade, banking and capital markets, foreign investment and the services sector. Turkey is one of the few countries in the world to be largely self-sufficient in food production. Its agricultural sector is huge, producing wheat, barley, corn, cotton, tea, tobacco, hazenuts, citrus fruits, figs, grapes and many other fruits, in addition to sunflower seeds, soybeans, sugar beets and a whole range of vegetables.
In the industrial sector, the automotive, textile,construction, appliances, furniture, chemical and pharmaceutical industries have all achieved remarkable growth over the last two decades.
Places which were once little more than small provincial towns, such as Gazi Antep, Denizli, Uşak, Kahraman Maraş, Corum, Kayseri, Konya and Kastamonu are last becoming major business centers.
The service sector, encompassing tourism, telecommunications, transport, advertising, insurance and electronic media has expanded rapidly. Foreign trade has reached $63 billion, with foreign direct investment standing at $2.5 billion.
The EU and Turkey are linked by a Customs Union agreement, which came into force on 1 January 1996. Turkey signed the additional protocol extending her customs union with the EU to cover 10 new member states on 29 July 2005. And 3 October 2005 was the milestone in the relationship between the European Union and Turkey: Turkey is now a negotiating country and not merely a candidate country.
This development is expected to cause an increase in the inflow or foreign direct investment. s a developing country, Turkey continues to confront diverse economic and social problems, However, thanks to its fertileland, progressive economy and diligent pioneering people, Turkey is facing the future with great confidence
Two suspension bridges in Istanbul join the European and Asian continents over the Bosphorus. he Bogazici Bridge is the fourth longest suspension bridge in the world. Further north is the newer Fatih. which is linked to an expansive network of trans-continentalhighways
LAND, AIR & MARITIME TRANSPORTATION
1973, the first Bosphorus Bridge opened, linking Asia and Europe for e first time in history, and prompting growth in the construction of circumference roads and highways, here are now 1,880 kilometers of motorways in Turkey, with hundreds of kilometres under construction. As some 1,000 trucks are produced every year, IR traffic is heavy, with around 36,000 journeys made by Turkish trucks to other countries annually. The growth in air transportation has also been spectacular, with nearly 38,000 seats on Turkish Airlines, one of the youngest fleets in the world, and on the 5 private companies. The Turkish merchant fleet, a relatively modest sector until recently, has also undergone an impressive expansion.
One of the most advanced military aircraft of modern times, the F 16s are produced y Turkish engineers and workers in Ankara. Besides serving he Turkish Air Forces they are also exported to various countries. In line with Turkey's industrial
TURKISH CAPITAL MARKETS
The rapid development of the capital markets took off with the establishment of the Istanbul Stock Exchange in 1986. This opened the way for the formation of a secondary market for the trading of securities. With the establishment of the Istanbul Stock Exchange, the net value of portfolio investments made by foreign investors has increased considerably. The IstanbulGold Exchange began operations in 1995, bringing to a close the monopoly of the Central Bank in the import and export of gold and ensuring that gold prices in Turkey follow world prices.
Turkey today holds a respectable place among countries with advanced telecommunication networks.The country is equipped with 59 million telephones, which are controlled by 19,000 automatic switchboards. The Turksat 1 B satellite has further broadened the network. The media in Turkey has been quick to take advantage of modern technology. There are about 20 national television networks, hundreds of local stations and the number of national and local radio stations is in the thousands.dvantage of modern technology. There are about 20 national television networks, hundreds of local stations and the number of national and local radio stations is in the thousands.
TEXTILES AND CLOTHING, THE LOCOMOTIVES OF TURKISH INDUSTRY AND EXPORTS
The textile and clothing sector is the driving force of Turkish exports, representing 28% of total exports in 2004 to over 200 countries with a work force or close to lour million people. In 2003, the European Union imported 40% of textile products from Turkey. Turkey is one of tire top international producers of wool, cotton and synthetic fiber. The strategic raw material of the textile sector in Turkey is cotton. Turkey produced 1.3 million tons of cotton in 2003. The GAP (Southeast Anatolian Development Project) helped expand the amount of irrigated land in the region, thus increasing the production of cotton. Turkey possesses the raw materials, a qualified work force, good fashion designers and the know-how for quality textiles production. These assets, combined with the possibilities in the new markets in Central Asia and Russia, have prompted Western companies to further extend their cooperation with Turkish partners.
AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY, GROWING COMPETITION
Car manufacturing in turkey began in 1966 with theintroduction of "Anadol" fiberglass car powered by an English-made engine. This initiative proved commercially successful and paved the way for the production or more sophisticated models and also for the production of engines in Turkey in the 70s. Today there are five major car-producing lactones. Turkey thus looks set to become one or the major world players in the automotive industry. Some foreign companies are already handing over the production or entire models to their Turkish partners. The total annual production capacity today stands at over a million units, including 700,000 passenger cars. Theexport value of passenger cars, commercial vehicles and components totals over $12 billion in 2005, a remarkable achievement for what is a relatively new industry. There are presently over six million registered cars in Turkish traffic, 70 passenger cars per 1000 people.
PETROCHEMICALS & PHARMACEUTICALS
The petrochemical industry is growing as a vital sector in the Turkish economy. Concentrated mostly in the Marmara, Izmir, Ankara and Adana regions, it produces raw and intermediary materials for the plastic, textile and tire industries, and mineral oils and organic and inorganic chemical products. Petrochemicals account for 25% of Turkey's total exports today. The pharmaceutical industry has been growing rapidly, particularly since 1984, producing some 4000 types or drugs which meet 90% or the domestic demand. The industry also produces raw materials.
Turkey's dynamic and mobile population and the ever-increasing tourism investments keep the construction sector busy. Turkish contractors, however, have not been satisfied with this domestic potential and turned their sights towards the international markets. Today, more than 700 Turkish construction companies are active in 56 countries, where they have been welcome d for the quality and the promptness of their work. Their total contracting commitments represent $38.5 billion, while employing 20,000 Turkish and 12,000 foreign workers.
Today, more than 700 Turkish construction companies are active in 56 countries, where they have been welcomed for the quality and the promptness of their work.
The tourism sector is now moving ahead rapidly in this country endowed with natural beauties, mountains, thousands of kilometers of sea shore, lakes, long summers, plenty of sunshine in summer and plenty of snow in some areas in winter, with an incomparable wealth of archaeological and historical sights and cultural treasures. The number of tourists visiting the country (17.5 million in 2004) has increased at a rate of 20% per annum over the last ten years. The number of beds, barely 56,000 in 1983 is now over 650,000. The tourism industry has followed all the technological developments to meet the expectations of tourists, and has become competitive in international markets. The results have been rewarding.