Turkey, manufacturing, supply chain, business

Turkey was founded in 1923 from the remains of the Ottoman Empire, and it adopted many social, legal and political reforms. Since its founding, Turkey has dealt with instability and military coups, although each time, the country returns to democracy. Its latest constitution was adopted in 1982.

The country is located in southeastern Europe and southwestern Asia. Its borders consist of Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Syria, and the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. The entire country is slightly larger than the US state of Texas

Manufacturing in Turkey

Industry drives a substantial portion of Turkey’s economy at 32.3% of its GDP. Primary manufacturing industries include textiles, food, automobiles, electronics, mining, steel, petroleum, construction, lumber and paper.

The industrial production growth rate is 9.1%, putting Turkey in the top 20 worldwide for fast growth.

Other Important Industries

Services have become a larger share of Turkey’s GDP in recent years. Currently, services make up 60.7% of the GDP with tourism serving as the largest of the service industries.

Agriculture makes up 6.8% of the GDP, but the sector employs 18.4% of the workforce. Key agricultural products include tobacco, cotton, grain, olives, sugar beets, hazelnuts, legumes, citrus and livestock.

Supply Chain Infrastructure for Manufacturing

Turkey has a modern telecommunications infrastructure, with widespread access to state-of-the-art cellular and fiber optic services. More than 58% of the population has access to high-speed Internet. This strong communications infrastructure enables rapid communication with customers and suppliers anywhere in the world.

Turkey also has 24,082 km of paved roads, so transportation by truck is easy.


Turkey has 91 airports with paved runways, many of which are capable of handling jets and cargo planes. Twenty heliports can help with the speedy delivery of air freight when necessary.

Transportation of goods by rail is also feasible, with 12,710 km of railroad track within Turkey. The country has only 1,200 km of inland waterways, but it has seaports at Aliaga, Ambarli, Diliskelesi, Eregli, Izmar, Kocaeli, Merson, Limani and Yarimca.

Both Ambarli and Mersin are container ports, and Izmir, Aliaga, Marmara and Ereglisi are LNG ports.

Turkey’s merchant marine boasts 1,234 vessels, including 57 bulk carriers, 54 container ships, 363 general cargo ships, 124 oil tankers and 636 other vessels.

Regardless of the shipping mode required, it is easy to move goods to and from Turkey.


Turkey’s workforce consists of 31.3 million people. The percentage of workers in broad sectors breaks down to 18.4% in agriculture; 26.6% in industry; and 54.9% in services. The unemployment rate has been 10.9% for the last few years.

About 96.2% of the population is literate, and people complete 17 to 18 years of school, creating a highly educated workforce.

About 20% of the population is clustered near the Bosporus in Istanbul, with another cluster near the capital city of Ankara. Most other urban centers are small and scattered.


Turkey ranks number 38th of the world’s countries for land area but 13th in terms of its economy and GDP, which reached $2.286 trillion in 2017. Taxes equal 20.3% of its GDP, and inflation is running at around 11% per year.

In 2017, Turkey exported $155.2 billion in goods. Its primary export partners were Germany, the UK, the UAE, Iraq, the US, Italy, France and Spain. The major export commodities were apparel, food, textiles, metal and manufactured metal parts and transportation equipment.

Imports equaled $255.1 billion in 2017, with China, Germany, Russia, the US, and Italy being the top import partners. Import commodities included machinery, chemicals, semi-finished goods, fuel and transportation equipment.

Tax Rules

The World Bank ranks Turkey 38th in the region for ease of doing business. Some of the areas that contribute to its ranking include the difficulty of resolving insolvency, dealing with construction permits, protections for minority investors and property protection.

Taxes require 10 payments per year and the total tax and contribution rate is 42.3% of profit.

Getting Down to Business

Turkey offers some challenges for manufacturing businesses operating within its borders, but the rewards can also be substantial. Manufacturing is an important part of the economy, and the government offers some incentives and protections for manufacturers. QAD Adaptive ERP can be a crucial tool to help companies evolve as regulations change. For example, QAD Internationalization enables manufacturers to manage the taxes, regulations, and reporting in Turkey, and QAD offers solutions to help manage a connected global supply chain.

How would you describe the state of Manufacturing in Turkey? Learn more about manufacturing and doing business in other great countries around the world.