Kitchen bridge from Istanbul to Brooklyn
The Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation (TÜRKONFED) has issued two important reports on how to exit the “middle-income trap” that threatens developing countries like Turkey.
The reports were prepared by Professor Erinç Yeldan, who focuses on development economy, and his team. The second report was issued recently.
According to that report, only in 14 provinces in Turkey is there no middle-income trap, as the rest of the provinces are either in the middle-income trap or suffering from poverty.
As the report states and as can easily be guessed, Istanbul draws the biggest amount of investment and tops the list of provinces that have no risk of “middle-income trap.”
With its $15,674 income per capita, Istanbul is Turkey’s biggest exporter province. Half of Turkey’s total exports are conducted by Istanbul.
From the “Exit from the Middle Income Trap: Which Turkey” report, we learn that Istanbul’s export income increased constantly between the years 2002 and 2012. Exports, which netted $21 billion in 2002, reached $76.6 billion in 2012.
There are even kitchen systems among the goods that are exported to the world from Istanbul.
The Lineadecor Kitchen Factory covers 30,000 square meters in Gebze, near Istanbul.
The owner of the company, engineer Ercan Ecemiş, has been manufacturing kitchen systems since 1991, while the brand Lineadecor was formed in 1996.
Today, they are the leader in the sector by far with an annual total of 12,500 kitchens fitted.
“We produce 180,000 kitchen modules annually. Our business also covers areas such as research and development and design. We make a huge contribution to the development of the supporting industry,” he said.
The current number of Lineadecor suppliers is around 40, and they are from various provinces in Turkey such as Kayseri, Gaziantep, İzmir and Bolu.
Lineadecor has franchises in several countries such as Israel, Azerbaijan, Kenya, Qatar and Oman. The company is taking part in urban transformation projects in New York’s Brooklyn.
You may ask, what do you mean? It is a long distance from Istanbul to Brooklyn.
“The Turkish Company Kiska Development Group that is playing an important role in Brooklyn’s urban transformation found us. We bought a table at an evening event organized by the municipality of Brooklyn and thus we set up connections with American officials,” Ecemiş said.
Consequently, in the homes built by the Kiska Development Group as part of the urban transformation in Brooklyn, the kitchens are furnished with Lineadecor brand products.
The brand is growing 15 to 20 percent every year and its U.S. export target for next year is $2.5 million.
Meanwhile, thanks to the “kitchen bridge” erected between Istanbul and Brooklyn, social and personal ties have also been developed.
Ecemiş told me they hosted American contractors and municipal officials in their factory at Gebze.
“Visiting Americans are impressed by the largest organized zone in the Balkans and in the Middle East as much as they are impressed by the beauties of Istanbul,” Ecemiş said.
According to Ecemiş, who particularly emphasizes that Lineadecor has easily found a place for itself in the American market, it is quiet easy to work with Americans who think “pragmatically” once they are supplied with quality goods.