News / Europe

Turkish Businesses Cast Wide Net to Promote Exports

Sharon Behn

Turkey's economy has been steadily growing thanks to measures put in place when Istanbul was actively trying to enter the European Union. Turned down, Turkey no longer seems interested in joining the EU. Instead, it is looking elsewhere to promote its exports and expand its considerable regional influence.

Exporters like Erenson, a company that produces industrial boilers, are thinking globally. In the past, Turkey geared its exports to European countries hungry for quality yet inexpensive goods that could be delivered quickly.

"And this boiler entails information about every welder that workd (on it)," said Erenson CEO Ali Eren. He says roughly 55 percent of Turkey's export market is Europe. But he is working closely with top government officials to end his country's dependency on western markets. "We are growing into Asia, Asian markets are very important for us, Africa, starting from North Africa and the Middle East is a big market and also South America is one of our targets.  Of course in the north, Russia is very important market for us."

Turkey is now the world's 17th largest economy. The streets of its largest city, Istanbul, glitter with the priciest name brands. The ancient market at the city's center also draws daily crowds. The Bosphorus is one of the busiest waterways in the world.

International Crisis Group analyst Hugh Pope says Turkey has had a great decade. "It's increased its exports three times, and it has given a lot of wealth to a lot of citizens and you can feel the tide rising in many places, even in the far poor east of the country. So, that is a great success," he said.

But Turkey's once flourishing textile industry is beginning to feel the bite of a slowing world economy. So far, the country has managed to avoid the main blows of the world financial crisis. But some industrialists worry the country is headed for tougher times.

T-shirt factory owner Turan Comert is worried about rising prices and competition from Asia. "Salaries are getting higher every day, electricity is going up, and I cannot compete with Bangladesh.  They have less expenses than we do. The only thing we have now is that our quality is better," he said.

Economists say that the country's currency has slipped. The gap between imports and exports is unsustainably high. Growth rate predictions have been pushed down from previous years to 2.5 percent.

Economist Emre Alkin says the low growth rate presents an obstacle to Turkey's plans. "There is fear of a slow down, not a soft landing, and actually, the slow down is bad," he said.

Turkey's economic future, he says, will depend on how successfully it builds on its traditional exports toward more high-tech value-added industries such as hybrid cars, software and aerospace.

Until then, Turkey will have to bet on the entrepreneurship of businessmen like Eren.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid