Turkish cellphone operator Turkcell launches search engine
Turkcell CEO Kaan Terzioğlu said at the Oct. 25 launch that Yaani marked an important step for the country.
“If we want to have a voice in the new era, we have to keep our digital data in our country and turn it into innovative services. With Yaani, we are getting into the search engine market, one of the most data-generating services,” Terzioğlu added.
The Yaani app will collect user data and search terms on Turkish servers but will perform the searches on Microsoft’s Bing search engine in North America. Data will be stored in Turkey’s largest data center in Gebze, near Istanbul, Terzioğlu said at the launch.
Yaani is derived from the Turkish word “yani,” an interjection that can be roughly translated as “What I mean is...”
Terzioğlu pointed out that the word is also used in Turkcell’s target markets, the Middle East and Russia, having a similar meaning in Arabic and being easy to say in Russian.
“Our primary goal with Yaani is to reach 25 percent market share in Turkey,” he added.
Yaani can be downloaded for free from AppStore and Google Play application stores. Campaign offers include 1GB free data to customers who install the search app on their phone. Turkcell is also waiving mobile data charges for customers who choose Yaani over Google search and YouTube.
In Turkey, GSM-based mobile communication started when Turkcell first started operations in 1994. Since then, it has continuously expanded its services based on mobile audio and data communication.
According to a filing to the stock exchange on Oct. 25, the company posted 601 million Turkish Liras, or roughly $160 million, in 2017 third quarter net profits, more than trippling the 181.7 million liras in the same period of 2016.
“Group net income virtually quadrupled year-on-year 601 million liras, mainly on strong operational performance,” read the statement.
“Data and digital services revenues were up 37 percent,” it added.