Turkey sees major boost in smuggled cellphone market
ANKARA - Anadolu AgencyThe market for smuggled cellphones has increased sevenfold over the last five years in Turkey, amid rising taxes and exchange rates, the head of the Mobile Communication and Informatics Technologies Association said on Feb. 27.
In an interview with Anadolu Agency, Sinan Ekşi said the annual value of smuggled and untaxed cellphone sales had risen to 8.3 billion Turkish Liras ($2.3 billion) from 1 billion Turkish liras ($0.55 billion) five years ago, indicating a 730-percent increase.
Ekşi noted that VAT on cellphones had increased by 60 percent from 2011 to 2016, while foreign exchange rates, which directly impact cellphone prices, almost doubled.
“The average budget allocated for a cellphone purchase rose to 1,400 Turkish liras [$388] in 2016 from 490 liras [$272] in 2012. Of all cellphones sold in Turkey, 72 percent have a price tag above 1,000 liras [$272] while nearly one-third are above 3,000 Turkish liras [$833],” he said.
Cellphones worth $3.06 billion were imported in 2016, according to figures from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK).