Why Start a Business in Turkey?
Turkey’s fortune is proximity. A unique Eurasian hybrid of East meets West, Turkish culture straddles two continents and eight borders, and is home to the very extremes in ethnicity. Its vast brown valleys, colossal mountains and biblical rivers all lead to the Aegean, and historicism and culture collects like silt on its banks and deltas along the way. Everything is organically aesthetic. Well, almost everything.
Turkey’s business environment is fast catching up to awe-inspiring status, and it is soon set to become a major commercial and financial hub in the region. It flaunts free enterprise, liberal foreign policy and trade practice, and a dynamic stock exchange. As an emerging market, the connotations are vast, but booming usually sums it all up well. Turkey incenses investors like a snake charmer.
What is the population?
- The population of Turkey is estimated at 75,837,020 as of July 1 2014.
- Turkey’s population is equivalent to 1.05% of the total world population.
- Turkey ranks number 18 in the list of countries by population.
- The population density in Turkey is 97 people per Km2.
- 74% of the population is urban (56,235,478 people in 2014).
- The median age in Turkey is 29.8 years.
How is the climate?
The county’s terrain is a high central plateau, narrow coastal plains; and several mountain ranges. The coastal areas of Turkey bordering the Mediterranean Sea have a Mediterranean and temperate climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, wet and cold winters. Mountains close to the coast prevent Mediterranean influences from extending inland, therefore resulting in sharply contrasting seasons in the central Anatolian plateau. Winters on the plateau are especially severe and temperatures of up to -40 C can occur in the mountainous areas in the east. In the west, winter temperatures average below 1C and summers are hot and dry, with temperatures generally above 30 C.
Turkey is a fast developing economy with a dynamic market equipped with a network of developed infrastructure and a competitive work force.
Turkey’s economy has been dominated by traditional agricultural activities for many years, however, the country has now diversified its economy which is now highly dependent on a developed services sector and an industrial complex in the major cities concentrated in the western provinces. The country’s tourism sector and private sector have also experienced rapid growth in recent years, and are important parts of the economy. Other key sectors of the Turkish economy are construction, automotive, banking, home appliances, machine industry, textiles, oil refining, petrochemical products, food, mining, iron, steel, and electronics. The largest industrial sector is textiles and clothing, which accounts for of industrial employment. Turkey’s economy is a mix of modern industry and commerce along with the country’s traditional agriculture sector that still accounts for more than 35% of the country’s employment.
Turkey’s main exports are apparel, foodstuffs, textiles, metal manufacturers and transport equipment. The main export partners are Germany, UK, Italy, France, Russia and Spain. The country’s main imports are machinery, chemicals, semi-finished goods, fuels and transport equipment. Turkey’s import partners are Russia, Germany, China, Italy, US and France.
Turkey’s major companies are textiles, food processing, automotives, electronics, mining, steel, petroleum, construction, lumber and paper manufacturing.
Business hours – Business hours are generally between 08.30/09.00 and 17.30/18.00, Monday to Friday.
Working hours – The normal working hours are usually 45 hours per week and anything over is considered overtime. An individual is not permitted to work more than 11 hours per day and cannot work more than 7.5 hours between 8:00pm and 6:00am.
Minimum Wage – Minimum wage is 608.40 TRY per month (roughly £260) for employees aged 16 or over.
Holidays – The duration of leave depends on the number of years that have been worked by the individual. If an individual has worked between 1-5 years, the duration of leave is generally 14 days, which increases as the number of years worked increases.
Turks prefer to do business with those they know and respect, therefore it is important to spend time establishing a good relationship.
Business appointments should be made 1-2 weeks in advance.
When addressing a Turk the most common method is to call a man by his first name followed by ‘bey’. Similarly, a woman’s first name is followed by ‘hanim’.
If professional titles exist such as Doctor or Professor, always use them either on their own or before the individuals’ first name. This is also the case with many other professions such as lawyers or engineers. Within Turkish companies and organisations senior ranking staff will also be addressed accordingly with the title of their position.
Business cards are usually given at the start of every business meeting. It is polite to have one side of your business card translated into Turkish.
Turkish banks offer commercial bank loans as well as various forms of state aids which are available to both local and foreign investors. Grants and loans are also available from national and regional authorities who also offer incentives such as customs relief, investment allowance, tax duty, credit charges exemption, energy subsidy, land allocation and subsidized credits.