ECONOMICS > Turkey sees exports record with $152 bln

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Armored vehicles, like BMC’s Kirpi in this photo, account for a large portion of Turkey’s defense exports.

Armored vehicles, like BMC’s Kirpi in this photo, account for a large portion of Turkey’s defense exports.

Turkey broke an all-time exports record last year with $151.86 billion, according to the unofficial figures gathered by the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TİM).

This surpassed the official government target of $149 billion, as TİM President Mehmet Büyükekşi said local exporters aimed for $160 billion of exports this year.

On an annual basis defense sales posted a large increase of 43 percent to more than $1.25 billion, as December 2012 exports slightly fell to $11.9 billion from the same month a year earlier, the figures showed.

Gold exports jump

Gold sales also supported the annual figures with a 42 percent increase from a year earlier, as Turkey has started using gold as an indirect payment tool for gas from Iran to bypass the U.S. embargo on money transactions with the Islamic Republic.

Speaking at an Ankara meeting held by TİM, Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan said some 60 percent of the gold exports went to Iran as another 30 percent went to the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.). He said Turkey would continue such trade as long as it found buyers for its gold. Turkey reportedly sends some of its exported gold to Iran via the U.A.E.

Turkey sold nearly $1 billion worth of gold to both Switzerland and the U.K. as well, he said.

The country’s current account deficit dropped to $41 billion in the first 10 months of 2012 from $65 billion in the same period a year earlier.

Southeastern province signals recovery

The southeastern province of Gaziantep, a regional production hub, posted a 16 percent increase in exports, signaling a recovery from the sharp fall due to the tensions with Syria.

Turkey’s tobacco exports also increased 25 percent.

Germany topped Turkey’s export markets once again as Iraq and the U.K. followed.

Exports to Libya increased by 188 percent mainly due to the recovering process in the so-called Arab Spring nation.

Exports to the crisis-hit European Union countries fell by 7 percent to $58 billion.

Automotive exports topped Turkey’s export items list last year with $19 billion as chemicals and textile products followed.

Exports from Istanbul, the industrial and business capital of the country, increased to $61 billion as neighboring İzmit ranked second with $13 billion in exports. İzmit and Bursa are Turkey’s automotive industry hubs.


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Notice on comments

Eric Martin

1/4/2013 3:24:11 AM

We need to expand to new markets. Germany as our main country of exports is not that good. We need a free trade agreement with the USA. We sell nothing to the USA markets. Turkiye lacks a domestic car to export but we make military trucks. Why not export a domestic version of our military trucks? Government needs to help with tax credits or subsidies to create new business exports. We should make mining trucks and our own 'domestic' tractor. Turktractor is joint project with Fiat!

ilker avni

1/3/2013 8:57:30 PM

A Modern equiped Turkey will be a powerhouse,Turkey still lags behind in the modernised industrial equipment,exspecially in farming,these are area,s that need improving,Foreign companies will see the opportunities that the Turks dont see and they will take full advantage.With big markets to the East and the West Turkeys postion is ideal for foriegn investment..European countries will soon gobble up Turkey.Turkey needs to invest in its transport, Rail and road will double its GDP.

Suhail Shafi

1/3/2013 6:00:42 PM

@ Johanna Dew - Smaller countries include reexports as part of their overall trade figures so it is possible Turkey's overall merchandise exports are higher than those of smaller countries with higher export numbers.


1/3/2013 5:32:20 PM

If the economic policies of the current government should be criticized, than the economic policies of all previous governments should be cursed. Except for ATATURK's goverment and T. Ozal( who was extra motivated after being hanged upside down from a jet by the deep state special forces, which was for state benefits :D )


1/3/2013 4:40:48 PM

Norway is not a good compariosn, so are many others ahead of Turkey who are oil or coal rich. Chech Republic or Sweden or Austria are so much more impressive though. Then again, they are not surrounded by wars and haters, Turkey is.

Johanna Dew

1/3/2013 3:59:49 PM

Turkey just passed Czech Republic on the list of exporters but just behind Norway. With 75 million, is that something be proud of?


1/3/2013 3:30:13 PM

This is very nice and satisfying but civilization is a bit more than raw GDP.

ilker avni

1/3/2013 2:35:50 PM

Turkey was right to turn its back on the EU,and was right to look to the East,while the EU is in dire straights for decades before any sign of recovery.Turkey,s economy has even more room to grow,and you will see in the next few years ,Turkey will be asked to join but will decline the offer.Turkey joining the Union will lose more then it gains by joining.The Caucasus is where Turkey should be looking,to expand its markets and trade,they have the oil and the gas,which means they have the money.


1/3/2013 10:51:29 AM

Most remarkable thing is that, Turkey sees an export record while export to EU decreases with 7%. Means that the Turkish policies for other markets are paying off. Respect for Erdogan, Davutoglu, T. Yildiz, Babacan and Bagis reis.

ilker avni

1/3/2013 8:14:23 AM

Two years ago i posted my comment that the Turkish lira was to high,and according to press releases the prime minster LIKED a high lira and wanted the lira to stay high,against advice,he soon changed his mind after the deficit grew wider,now thanks to a lira lower then two years ago exports are booming,and that how you have a successfull economy,which i belive is only the begining for Turkey.They are still many sectors in the Turkish economy where exports should and will improve.
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