Turkey Economy

Turkey Economy

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Turkey’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2006 was $ 402,710 million, which was $ 5,518.50 per capita. Around 26.8% was contributed by industry, 9.7% by agriculture and 63.5% by the service sector. The economic recovery that occurred during the government of President Turgut Ozal is now over. The government of Prime Minister Tansu Çiller, with the support of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), continued to try to reduce the huge national deficit after years of excessive spending. Prices rose 150% between 1994 and 1995, while wages only did so by 30%. Agriculture still employs 30% of the country’s workforce, while unemployment stands at 10.3%, according to 2005 data.


According to Bridgat, the active population is made up of 27.4 million people. Around 30% work in the primary sector (agriculture, forestry and fishing), 25% work in the secondary sector (industry and mining) and approximately 46% are employed in the service sector. More than a million Turkish citizens work abroad, especially in Germany and Saudi Arabia; the foreign currency contributions of emigrants exceed three million dollars. The largest labor organization, the Turkish Trade Union Confederation, has some 2 million members.


Since 1950, agricultural production has increased thanks to the use of more machinery and fertilizers, as well as a greater variety of crops; however, productivity remains relatively low, as most farmers still use inefficient methods and farm units are extremely small. The climatic diversity in Turkey allows specialized cultivation, such as tea. In 2006 the annual production of the main crops (in metric tons) was: 34.6 million cereals (20 of them wheat), 25.7 million vegetables, 12.6 million fruit and 1.55 million legumes. They stand out, in addition to the Wheat, the Barley, the Corn, Sugar Beets, Tomatoes, Melons, Grapes, Apples, Onion (s), Aubergines, Walnuts, Cabbages, potatoes (Potatoes), Rye, Oats, Cotton, Tobacco, Olives and Citrus. The livestock population consists of 25.3 million Sheep (Sheep), 6.52 million Cabras (Chivos), 10.5 million head of cattle, 423,055 donkeys, 104,965 oxen and 323 million poultry.

Forestry and fishing

Although 13.1% of the area of Turkey has been classified as forest area, the timber industry is not very important; no more than a third of the forests have commercial value. Annual production is 16.8 million m³, of which more than two thirds is used as fuel, and the rest is used for construction.
Each year around 545,673 tonnes of fish are caught; Most of the catches, of which the anchovy occupies more than half, are made in the Mediterranean and the Aegean; A significant number of mackerels, sardines, red mullets and carps are also noteworthy.


Turkey maintains an important place among the countries with the highest mining production in the world. The main products are: lignite, coal, crude oil, chromite, bauxite, iron ore, manganese, boron, antimony, lead, zinc, copper and sulfur. The country is also a manufacturer of a unique mineral product such as meerschaum, used in the manufacture of tobacco pipes.


The most important industrial products in the early 1990s were Food, Textiles, Iron and Steel, Chemicals, Cement, Automobiles, Paper, and Cigarettes. Istanbul, Izmir and Bursa are the most prominent manufacturing centers.


According to 2003 data, Turkey produces 133,633 million KWh of electricity; 26.17% of it is generated in hydroelectric plants, highlighting the one located on the banks of the Euphrates River, near Elâzığ, and 73.68% comes from thermal power plants. In April 1995, Azerbaijan and Turkey signed an important agreement by which Turkey increased its investment by 6.75% in the exploitation of Azerbaijan’s oil fields, with an estimated 3.8 billion barrels of crude extracted in the Caspian Sea., which were transported through a pipeline to the Mediterranean.


Turkey has 8,697 km of railways, all under state control. The country is also served by 426,906 km of highways, 42% of which are paved. There are 108 vehicles for every thousand residents. The main ports are in Istanbul and Izmir, although it is worth highlighting those of Trazbon, Giresun, Samsun and Zonguldak on the Black Sea and Iskenderun and Mersin in the south. Turkish airlines offer domestic and international flights, and the busiest airports are located in Istanbul, Ankara, Adana, Antalya and Izmir.

Currency and banking

From the 1 of January of 2005 the currency of Turkey is the new Turkish lira (YTL denominated in the domestic and international market in TRY); 1 new Turkish lira equals 100 new kurus. The new currency will coexist for a year with the old one, the Turkish lira (which was divided into 100 kurus); With this change, the last six characteristic zeros of the previous currency are discarded, so that the 20 million lire banknotes, so far the most valuable (equivalent to about 15 US dollars), correspond to 20 new Turkish lira banknotes.
The Central Bank, founded in 1930, is responsible for the issuance of currency; The country also has some other decisive state banks in the evolution of the economy, such as the Agricultural Bank of the Republic of Turkey, founded in 1863, and many other commercial banks. The Turkish Stock Exchange is based in Istanbul.

Foreign trade

Annual import costs are generally much higher than export earnings; in 2003 annual imports amounted to 69,340 million dollars and exports were 47,253 million. The main imports are oil, machinery, chemical and pharmaceutical products, fertilizers, iron, steel and transport equipment, while exports included textiles, prepared foods, fruits and vegetables, cotton, chemicals, metals, tobacco and wheat . The most important income comes from the foreign currency of tourists who usually visit the country: in 2006, some 18.9 million tourists, spent around 2,743 million dollars. Turkey’s main trading partners are the European Union, Saudi Arabia, Russia and other republics of the former Soviet Union and the United States. In March 1995, a customs union agreement was signed with the European Union (EU) as a preliminary step for its full integration.

Turkey Economy