TURKEY : Geography and History
Turkey stretches across two continents: Anatolia, the Asianpart, covers most of the 800,000 square kilometres of national territory. Approximately three percent lie on the European continent. The country issurrounded by the Black Sea, the Mediterranean and the Aegean and borders Syria, Iraq, Iran, Armenia and Georgia as well as Bulgaria and Greece. Turkey's geography is characterised by seven different landscapes with high plateaus and continental climates in Central and East Anatolia and flat coastal regions with Mediterranean climates in the South and West. The geographical regions varystrongly with regard to vegetation and weather conditions, thereby enabling broad agricultural utilisation.
TURKEY : Mediator between Europe and the Arab world
Modern Turkey has a special role, socio-politically as well as economically: it is considered a mediator between the Western and the Arab world - a bridge between Orient and Occident. Due to its geographical location and economic power, it is of particular interest to the West from a security policy and economic perspective. The country is considered a role model of modernisation, economic growth and international relations. In addition, it is an attractive investment destination. These are major reasons for the negotiations for accession to the EU, which were initiated in 2005. In the Arabworld, Turkey's political actions are also influenced by the protest movement that began in 2010 ("Arab Spring"). As a role model, the country is striving to actively contribute to the development in that region.
TURKEY : Economy
Turkey has long since left behind its status as a developing country. The economic boom of the past years has changed the country. The GDP has almost tripled since 2002. In 2010, the country’s economic growth
amounted to 8.9 percent. At 10.2 percent in the first half of 2011, the Turkish economy even achieved the highest growth rate world wide. Turkey is therefore at eye level with the growth economies of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India,China). According to analysts, the country on the Bosporus could grow to become the second
largest national economy after Germany in 2050.
TURKEY : Economy / GDP and sectors
In 2011, the gross domestic product (GDP) amounted to € 612.4billion. Turkey therefore ranked eighteenth among the world's largest national economies. With a share of approximately 11 percent and growth rates of up to35 percent, the wide-ranging industrial sector (textiles, automotive,chemistry, machinery and electronics) contributes significantly to economicgrowth. The contribution of agriculture to the GDP lies at approximately 10 percent, which is also relatively high compared to the rest of Europe. In Poland, for example, the proportion of agriculture is at approximately 3.5percent. 'The largest contribution to the GDP is made by the services sector with more than 60 percent. Here, especially the financial sector and the tourism industry are relevant.
TURKEY : Economy / Regional differences
In Turkey, a pronounced divide exists between the Western and Eastern regions and between the rural areas and city centres. The Northern region around Istanbul is the country's economic centre accounting for more than 40 percent of the total economic power. The majority of the Turkish industrial and services sector concentrate in Istanbul, the capital Ankara and the Aegean region around Izmir. The agrarian oriented East lags behind these developments.
TURKEY : Stabilisation and consolidation
With the implementation of substantial structural reformssince 2001, Turkey has freed itself from the economic instability of the past. Thanks to the successful consolidation of budget and currency and the comprehensive modernisation of the banking system, the country was quickly able to get over the global financial and economic crisis of 2008/2009. The establishment of internationally competitive industries laid the foundation fora stable development.
TURKEY : Foreign trade in Turkey
Since the 1980s, and even more so after the economic crisisin 2001, Turkey's foreign trade volume has multiplied many times over. In 2010,the aggregated imports and exports totalled over € 226 billion, which is almosthalf of the country's GDP. Turkey is therefore less strongly involved in global trade than the European Union member states where the trade volume averaged more than three fourth of the economic performance in the past ten years.
TURKEY : Stable export sector
In 2010, the total value of Turkish exports rose by approximately 15 percent over the previous year to reach € 106 billion. The country's main export articles are automotive parts, machinery, clothes andtextiles as well as agricultural products. Furthermore, Turkey has rich deposits of ore and industrial minerals like boron, for example, which is usedamong others for the production of insulation and bleaching agents. These raw materials and their products are exported all over the world.
TURKEY : Export market European Union
Turkey's most important export market remains the European Union. Since 1996, the country has been a member of the European Customs Union. This agreement regulates the trade with industrial products between Turkey and the EU. In addition, it also prepares an approchement with the EU - for example in areas like the technical product legislation,competition and intellectual property rights. The Customs Union has led to a significant increase in Turkey's trade volume with the EU member states: approximately 40 percent of all exports from Turkey were delivered there. In addition, especially the countries in the Middle East region and North Africa aswell as the CIS countries are gaining in importance.
TURKEY : Potential for the retail sector
In 2011 for the first time, Turkey ranked among the ten most attractive destinations for retail investments. Compared to the previous year,the country there by moved up eight positions. This is shown in the Global Retail Development Index (GRDI) 2011 of A.T. Kearney, the consulting firm, which, for the tenth consecutive time, assessed the attractiveness of 30 emerging markets for trading companies. According to this assessment, the Turkish market shows great potential. Especially in Istanbul and other major Turkish cities, the propensity to consume is constantly growing. The number of shopping centres, supermarkets and hypermarkets is growing. But also in medium sized cities, retail companies are beginning to invest in more compact store formats and establishing new locations.