Economy of Turkey
|Economy of Turkey|
|Rank||17th (nominal) / 15th (PPP)|
|Currency||Turkish lira (TRY)|
|Fiscal year||calendar year|
|Trade organisations||G-20 major economies, OECD, EU Customs Union, WTO, ECO, BSEC|
|GDP||$1.358 trillion (PPP, 2012)12
$789.257 billion (Nominal, 2012)3
|GDP growth|| 4.4% (Q2 2013)45
5.2% (2002-2011 average)6
6.7% (2011-2017 avg. Forecast in OECD)6
|GDP per capita||$18,348 (PPP, 2012)2
$10,666 (Nominal, 2012)2
|GDP by sector||agriculture: 8.9%; industry: 28.1%; services: 63.0% (2012 est.)7|
|Inflation (CPI)||6.1% (April 2013)8
5.3% (2013 target)9
5.0% (2014 target)9
below poverty line
|Gini coefficient||40.2 (2010) 11|
|Labour force||27.34 million (2012 est.) note: about 1.2 million Turks work abroad12|
|agriculture: 25.5%, industry: 26.2%, services: 48.4% (2010)13|
|Unemployment||9.8% (August 2013)14
8.9% (2013 In Medium Term Programme)15
8.8% (2014 In Medium Term Programme)15
|Main industries||textiles, food processing, autos, electronics, tourism, mining (coal, chromate, copper, boron), steel, petroleum, construction, lumber, paper|
|Ease of doing business rank||71st16|
|Exports||$163.40 billion (28th) (2012)17|
|Export goods||apparel, foodstuffs, textiles, metal manufactures, transport equipment18|
|Main export partners|| Germany 8.6%
United Kingdom 5.7%
United Arab Emirates 5.4%
France 4.1% (2012 est.)19
|Imports||$228.90 billion (20th) (2012)20|
|Import goods||machinery, chemicals, semi-finished goods, fuels, transport equipment21|
|Main import partners|| Russia 11.3%
United States 6.0%
Iran 5.1% (2012 est.)22
|FDI stock||$152.90 billion (39th) (31 December 2012)23|
|Gross external debt||$336.90 billion (30th) (31 December 2012)24|
|Public debt||35.5% of GDP (2013)25|
|Revenues||$209 billion (2013)26|
|Expenses||$228.3 billion (2013)26|
|Economic aid||donor: $1.03 billion, 0.13% of GDP.27 Also, Turkey is ranked 4th on the ODA in 2012 report.2829|
|Foreign reserves||$134.269 billion (October 2013)33|
The economy of Turkey is defined as an emerging market economy by the IMF34 and is largely developed, making Turkey one of the world's newly industrialized countries. The country is among the world's leading producers of agricultural products; textiles; motor vehicles, ships and other transportation equipment; construction materials; consumer electronics and home appliances. In recent years, Turkey had a rapidly growing private sector, yet the state still plays a major role in industry, banking, transport, and communications.
- 1 Macroeconomic trends
- 2 Main economic sectors
- 2.1 Agricultural sector
- 2.2 Industrial sector
- 2.3 Construction and contracting sector
- 2.4 Service sector
- 3 Largest companies
- 4 External trade and investment
- 5 Natural resources
- 6 Environment
- 7 Regional disparities
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Turkey has the world's 17th largest nominal GDP,35 and 15th largest GDP by PPP.35 The country is a founding member of the OECD (1961) and the G-20 major economies (1999). Since December 31, 1995, Turkey is also a part of the EU Customs Union.
While many economies have been unable to recover from the recent global financial recession, the Turkish economy expanded by 9.2% in 2010, and 8.5 percent in 2011, thus standing out as the fastest growing economy in Europe, and one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Hence, Turkey has been meeting the “60 percent EU Maastricht criteria” for public debt stock since 2004. Similarly, from 2002 to 2011, the budget deficit decreased from more than 10 percent to less than 3 percent, which is one of the EU Maastricht criteria for the budget balance.6
The CIA classifies Turkey as a developed country.36 Turkey is often classified as a newly industrialized country by economists and political scientists;373839 while Merrill Lynch, the World Bank, and The Economist describe Turkey as an emerging market economy.404142
The World Bank classifies Turkey as an upper-middle income country in terms of the country's per capita GDP in 2007.42 Mean graduate pay was $10.02 per manhour in 2010.
According to a survey by Forbes, Istanbul, Turkey's financial capital, had a total of 28 billionaires as of March 2010 (down from 34 in 200843), ranking 4th in the world behind New York City (60 billionaires), Moscow (50 billionaires), and London (32 billionaires).44
In 2009 the Turkish government introduced various economic stimulus measures to reduce the impact of the 2007–2012 global financial crisis such as temporary tax cuts on automobiles, home appliances, and housing. As a result, the production of durable consumer goods increased by 7.2%, despite a decrease in automotive production.45
The Turkish Stock Market and credit rating agencies have responded positively. According to The Economist, share prices in Turkey nearly doubled over the course of 2009.46 On 8 January 2010, International credit rating agency Moody's upgraded Turkey's rating one notch.47 In 2012, Fitch upgraded Turkey's credit rating to investment grade (long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) was upgraded to BBB- (from BB+) and long-term local currency IDR was upgraded to BBB (from BB+)) after an 18-year gap;48 this was followed by a ratings upgrade by Moody's in May 2013, as the service lifted Turkey's government bond ratings to the lowest investment grade Baa3. The decision is Moody's first investment-grade rating for Turkey in two decades and the service stated in its official statement that the nation's "recent and expected future improvements in key economic and public finance metrics" was the basis for the ratings boost.4950
Turkish President Abdullah Gul said that Turkey was one of the rare countries whose financial institutions made profits in the last three years at a time of global economic crisis. Turkey is the world’s 15th and Europe’s 6th largest economy and the Turkish economy grew 11% in the first six months of 2010. Turkey is the country in OECD with the biggest growth of economy. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Turkey will exceed China, United States, Brazil, and Japan in the rise of national income.6
According to the Financial Times Special Report on Turkey, Turkish business executives and government officials believe the quickest route to achieving export growth lies outside of traditional western markets.51 According to Daniel Dombey of the Financial Times, a bit over five years ago, the "European Union accounted for much more than half of all Turkey’s exports. Now the figure is heading down toward not much more than a third”.51 Erdem Başçı, Turkey’s central bank governor, predicts that Iraq will eventually become Turkey’s largest export market.51 The Turkish government is intricately involved in helping to facilitate private sector expansion in emerging markets. “The government has a strategic vision, saying: ‘We will open up more embassies in growth regions and emerging markets such as Africa, Turkish Airlines will fly there, so Turkish businessmen can go there to do business there,’” says Hüsnü Özyeğin, one of Turkey’s most prominent businessmen and bankers.51 Similarly, Ahmet Davutoğlu, Turkey’s foreign minister, is focusing his attentions on the Middle East and striking a series of visa-free travel deals, while eyeing to establish free trade zones with the countries in the region.51 The AKP government is also seeking to improve economic and political relations with the autonomous Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq.52
In 2013 Turkey had a "huge current account deficit and high external financing need.”53
As of March 2007, Turkey is the world's largest producer of hazelnuts, cherries, figs, apricots, quinces and pomegranates; the second largest producer of watermelons, cucumbers and chickpeas; the third largest producer of tomatoes, eggplants, green peppers, lentils and pistachios; the fourth largest producer of onions and olives; the fifth largest producer of sugar beet; the sixth largest producer of tobacco, tea and apples; the seventh largest producer of cotton and barley; the eighth largest producer of almonds; the ninth largest producer of wheat, rye and grapefruit, and the tenth largest producer of lemons.54 Turkey has been self-sufficient in food production since the 1980s. In the year 1989, the total production of wheat was 16.2 million tonnes, and barley 3.44 million tonnes.55 The agricultural output has been growing at a respectable rate. However, since the 1980s, agriculture has been in a state of decline in terms of its share in the total economy.
The country's large agricultural sector accounted for 29.5% of the employment in 2009.54 Historically, Turkey's farmers have been fairly fragmented. According to the 1990 Census, "85% of agricultural holdings were under 10 hectares and 57% of these were fragmented into four or more non-contiguous plots."56 Many old agricultural attitudes remain widespread, but these traditions are expected to change with the EU accession process. Turkey is dismantling the incentive system. Fertilizer and pesticide subsidies have been curtailed and remaining price supports have been gradually converted to floor prices. The government has also initiated many planned projects, such as the Southeastern Anatolia Project (G.A.P project). The program includes 22 dams, 19 hydraulic power plants, and the irrigation of 1.82 million hectares of land.57 The total cost of the project is estimated at $32 billion.57 The total installed capacity of power plants is 7476 MW and projected annual energy production reaches 27 billion kWh.57 The physical realization of G.A.P. was 72.6% as of 201058
The livestock industry, compared to the initial years of the Republic, showed little improvement in productivity, and the later years of the decade saw stagnation. However, livestock products, including meat, milk, wool, and eggs, contributed to more than ⅓ of the value of agricultural output. Fishing is another important part of the economy; in 2005 Turkish fisheries harvested 545,673 tons of fish and aquaculture.59
Turkey's Vestel is the largest TV producer in Europe, accounting for a quarter of all TV sets manufactured and sold on the continent in 2006.60 By January 2005, Vestel and its rival Turkish electronics and white goods brand Beko accounted for more than half of all TV sets manufactured in Europe.61 Another Turkish electronics brand, Profilo-Telra, was Europe's third largest TV producer in 2005.62 EU market share of Turkish companies in consumer electronics has increased significantly following the Customs Union agreement signed between the EU and Turkey: in color TVs from 5% in 1995 to more than 50% in 2005, in digital devices from 3% to 15%, and in white goods from 3% to 18%.
Turkey has a large and growing automotive industry, which produced 1,024,987 motor vehicles in 2006,64 ranking as the 7th largest automotive producer in Europe; behind Germany (5,819,614), France (3,174,260), Spain (2,770,435), the United Kingdom (1,648,388), Russia (1,508,358) and Italy (1,211,594), respectively.65
The automotive industry is an important part of the economy since the late 1960s. The companies that operate in the sector are mainly located in the Marmara Region. With a cluster of car-makers and parts suppliers, the Turkish automotive sector has become an integral part of the global network of production bases, exporting over $22,944,000,000 worth of motor vehicles and components in 2008.6869
Turkey is one of the world's leading shipbuilding nations; in 2007 Turkish shipyards ranked 4th in the world (behind China, South Korea and Japan) in terms of the number of ordered ships, and also 4th in the world (behind Italy, USA and Canada) in terms of the number of ordered mega yachts.70
Turkey has many modern armament manufacturers. Annual exports reached $1.25 billion in 2012.71 MKEK, TAI, Aselsan, Roketsan, FNSS, Nurol Makina, Otokar, and Havelsan are major manufacturers. On July 11, 2002, Turkey became a Level 3 partner of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) development program. TAI builds various aircraft types and models, such as the F-16 Fighting Falcon for the Turkish Air Force.7273 Turkey has recently launched domestically built new military/intelligence satellites including a 0.8m resolution reconnaissance satellite (Project Göktürk-1) for use by the Turkish Armed Forces and a 2m resolution reconnaissance satellite (Project Göktürk-2) for use by the Turkish National Intelligence Organization. Other important products include the Altay main battle tank, TF-2000 class AAW frigate, Milgem class corvette, TAI Anka UAV, Aselsan İzci UGV, T-155 Fırtına self-propelled howitzer, J-600T missile, T-129 attack helicopter, Roketsan UMTAS anti-tank missile, Roketsan Cirit laser-guided rocket, Panter Howitzer, ACV-300, Otokar Cobra and Akrep, FNSS Pars 6x6 and 8x8 APC, Nurol Ejder 6x6 APC, TOROS artillery rocket system, Bayraktar Mini UAV, ASELPOD, and SOM cruise missile.
Turkey ranks 10th in the list of countries by steel production. In 2010, total steel production was 29 million tonnes.74 Turkey’s crude steel production reached a record high of 34.1 million tons in 2011.75 Notable producers (above 2 million tonnes) and their ranks among top steel producing companies.76
- Erdemir (7.1 million tonnes) (47th) (Only Erdemir-Turkey; Erdemir-Romania is not included)
- Habaş (4.4 million tonnes) (72nd)
- İçdaş (3.6 million tonnes) (76th)
- Diler (2.3 million tonnes) (108th)
- Çolakoğlu (2.1 million tonnes) (110th)
The Turkish construction and contracting industry is one of the leading, most competitive and dynamic construction/contracting industries in the world. In 2009 a total of 33 Turkish construction/contracting companies were selected for the Top International Contractors List prepared by the Engineering News-Record, which made the Turkish construction/contracting industry the world's 2nd largest, ranking behind those of China.777879
As of 2009, there were 102 airports (90 with paved runways and 12 with unpaved runways) in Turkey, including the eight international airports in Istanbul, Ankara, İzmir, Trabzon, Dalaman, Milas-Bodrum and Antalya.80 There were also 21 heliports in the country during the same year.80 In 2010, there were 102 million airline passengers in Turkey. The number of airline passengers is expected to reach 120 million in 2011.81
The New (Third) Airport of Istanbul (Turkish: İstanbul Yeni (Üçüncü) Havalimanı) is a projected airport to be built in the Arnavutköy district of Istanbul, Turkey. The airport is planned to be the largest airport in the world with a capacity to serve 150 million passengers per annum, due to the inadequate capacity in the existing airports of Istanbul.82 It will be the third international airport to be built in Istanbul.
The total length of the rail network was 10,991 km in 2008, ranking 22nd in the world, including 2,133 km of electrified track.80 The Turkish State Railways started building high-speed rail lines in 2003. The first line, which has a length of 533 km from Istanbul (Turkey's largest metropolis) via Eskişehir to Ankara (the capital) is under construction and will reduce the travelling time from 6–7 hours to 3 hours and 10 minutes. The Ankara-Eskişehir section of the line, which has a length of 245 km and a projected travel time of 65 minutes, is completed. Trials began on April 23, 2007, and revenue earning service began on March 13, 2009. The Eskişehir-Istanbul section of the line is scheduled to be completed by 2012, and includes the Marmaray tunnel which will enter service in 2012 and establish the first direct railway connection between Europe and Anatolia.Second high-speed rail line, which has length of 212 km between Ankara and Konya become operational in 2011.83
As of 2008, there were 17,502,000 operational landline telephones in Turkey, which ranked 18th in the world;80 while there were 65,824,000 registered mobile phones in the country, which ranked 15th in the world during the same year.80 The largest landline telephone operator is Türk Telekom, which also owns TTNET, the largest internet service provider in Turkey. The largest mobile phone operators in the country are Turkcell, Vodafone Turkey, Avea and TTNET Mobil.
The telecommunications liberalisation process started in 2004 after the creation of the Telecommunication Authority, and is still ongoing. Private sector companies operate in mobile telephony, long distance telephony and Internet access. Additional digital exchanges are permitting a rapid increase in subscribers; the construction of a network of technologically advanced intercity trunk lines, using both fiber-optic cable and digital microwave radio relay, is facilitating communication between urban centers.80 The remote areas of the country are reached by a domestic satellite system, while the number of subscribers to mobile-cellular telephone service is growing rapidly.80
The main line international telephone service is provided by the SEA-ME-WE 3 submarine communications cable and by submarine fiber-optic cables in the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea that link Turkey with Italy, Greece, Israel, Bulgaria, Romania, and Russia.80 In 2002, there were 12 Intelsat satellite earth stations; and 328 mobile satellite terminals in the Inmarsat and Eutelsat systems.80
Türksat A.Ş. is the primary communications satellite operator of Turkey, controlling the Turksat series of satellites. TÜBİTAK and Turkish Aerospace Industries have developed scientific observation satellites and reconnaissance satellites like the RASAT, Göktürk-1 and Göktürk-2.
As of 2001, there were 16 AM, 107 FM, and 6 shortwave radio stations in the country.80
Tourism is one of the most dynamic and fastest developing sectors in Turkey. According to travel agencies TUI AG and Thomas Cook, 11 of the 100 best hotels of the world are located in Turkey.85 In 2005, there were 24,124,501 visitors to the country, who contributed $18.2 billion to Turkey's revenues, with an average expenditure of $679 per tourist.86 In 2008, the number of visitors rose to 30,929,192, who contributed $21.9 billion to Turkey's revenues.87 For 2011, the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) reported 34,654,000 arrivals and US$25 billion in receipts for Turkey.88 According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, in 2012 travel and tourism made a total contribution of 10.9% to Turkish GDP and supported 8.3% of all jobs in the country.89 Over the years, Turkey has emerged as a popular tourist destination for many Europeans, competing with Greece, Italy and Spain. Resorts in provinces such as Antalya and Muğla (which are located on the Turkish Riviera) have become very popular among tourists.
The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (Türkiye Cumhuriyet Merkez Bankası) was founded in 1930, as a privileged joint-stock company. It possesses the sole right to issue notes. It also has the obligation to provide for the monetary requirements of the state agricultural and commercial enterprises. All foreign exchange transfers are exclusively handled by the central bank.
Originally established as the Ottoman Stock Exchange (Dersaadet Tahvilat Borsası) in 1866, and reorganized to its current structure at the beginning of 1986, the Istanbul Stock Exchange (ISE) is the sole securities market of Turkey.90 During the 19th and early 20th centuries, Bankalar Caddesi (Banks Street) in Istanbul was the financial center of the Ottoman Empire, where the headquarters of the Ottoman Central Bank (established as the Bank-ı Osmanî in 1856, and later reorganized as the Bank-ı Osmanî-i Şahane in 1863)91 and the Ottoman Stock Exchange (1866) were located.92 Bankalar Caddesi continued to be Istanbul's main financial district until the 1990s, when most Turkish banks began moving their headquarters to the modern central business districts of Levent and Maslak.92 In 1995, the Istanbul Stock Exchange moved to its current building in the Istinye quarter.93 The Istanbul Gold Exchange was also established in 1995. The stock market capitalisation of listed companies in Turkey was valued at $161,537,000,000 in 2005 by the World Bank.94
Until 1991, establishing a private sector bank in Turkey wasn't easy and was subject to strict government controls and regulations. On 10 October 1991 (ten days before the general elections of 20 October 1991) the ANAP government of Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz gave special permissions to five prominent businessmen (who had close links to the government) to establish their own small-scale private banks. These were Kentbank (owned by Süzer); Park Yatırım Bankası (owned by Karamehmet); Toprakbank (owned by Toprak); Bank Ekspres (owned by Betil); and Alternatif Bank (owned by Doğan.) They were followed by other small-scale private banks established between 1994 and 1995, during the DYP government of Prime Minister Tansu Çiller, who introduced drastic changes to the banking laws and regulations; which made it very easy to establish a bank in Turkey, but also opened many loopholes in the system. In 1998, there were 72 banks in Turkey; most of which were owned by construction companies that used them as financial assets for siphoning money into their other operations. As a result, in 1999 and 2001, the DSP government of Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit had to face two major economic crises that were caused mostly by the weak and loosely regulated banking sector; the growing trade deficit; and the devastating İzmit earthquake of 17 August 1999. The Turkish lira, which was pegged to the U.S. dollar prior to the crisis of 2001, had to be floated, and lost an important amount of its value. This financial breakdown reduced the number of banks to 31. Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit had to call the renowned economist Kemal Derviş to tidy up the economy and especially the weak banking system so that a similar economic crisis would not happen again.
At present, the Turkish banking sector is among the strongest and most expansive in East Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia. During the past decade since 2001, the Turkish lira has also gained a considerable amount of value and maintained its stability, becoming an internationally exchangeable currency once again (in line with the inflation that dropped to single-digit figures since 2003.) The economy grew at an average rate of 7.8% between 2002 and 2005. Fiscal deficit is benefiting (though in a small amount) from large industrial privatizations. Banking came under stress beginning in October 2008 as Turkish banking authorities warned state-run banks against the pullback of loans from the larger financial sectors.95 More than 34% of the assets in the Turkish banking sector are concentrated in the Agricultural Bank (Ziraat Bankası), Housing Bank (Yapı Kredi Bankası), Isbank (Türkiye İş Bankası) and Akbank. The five big state-owned banks were restructured in 2001. Political involvement was minimized and loaning policies were changed. There are also numerous international banks, which have branches in Turkey. A number of Arabian trading banks, which practice an Islamic banking, are also present in the country.
Government regulations passed in 1929 required all insurance companies to reinsure 30% of each policy with the Millî Reasürans T.A.Ş. (National Reinsurance Corporation) which was founded on February 26, 1929.96 In 1954, life insurance was exempted from this requirement. The insurance market is officially regulated through the Ministry of Commerce.
After years of low levels of foreign direct investment (FDI), in 2007 Turkey succeeded in attracting $21.9 billion in FDI and is expected to attract a higher figure in following years.97 A series of large privatizations, the stability fostered by the start of Turkey’s EU accession negotiations, strong and stable growth, and structural changes in the banking, retail, and telecommunications sectors have all contributed to the rise in foreign investment.citation needed
In recent years, the chronically high inflation has been brought under control and this has led to the launch of a new currency, the "New Turkish lira", on January 1, 2005, to cement the acquisition of the economic reforms and erase the vestiges of an unstable economy.98 On January 1, 2009, the New Turkish lira was renamed once again as the "Turkish lira", with the introduction of new banknotes and coins.
|288||Türkiye İş Bankası||Banking||10.97||1.61||86.34||12.60|
As of 2012, the main trading partners of Turkey are Germany, Russia and Iran.100 Turkey has taken advantage of a customs union with the European Union, signed in 1995, to increase industrial production for exports, while benefiting from EU-origin foreign investment into the country.101
Turkey is also a source of foreign direct investment in central and eastern Europe and the CIS, with more than $1.5 billion invested. 32% has been invested in Russia, primarily in the natural resources and construction sector, and 46% in Turkey’s Black Sea neighbours, Bulgaria and Romania. Turkish companies also have sizable FDI stocks in Poland, at about $100 million.
The construction and contracting companies have been significant players, such as Enka, Tekfen, Gama, and Üçgen İnşaat, as well as the three industrial groups, Anadolu Efes Group, ŞişeCam Group and Vestel Group.
The exports reached $115.3 billion in 2007, but imports rose to $162.1 billion, mostly due to the rising demand for energy resources like natural gas and crude oil.13 Turkey targets exports of $200 billion in 2013, and a total trade of at least $450 billion.102 There has been a considerable shift in exports in the last two decades. Share of natural gas decreased from 74% in 1980 to 30% in 1990 and 12% in 2005. Share of mid and high technology products has increased from 5% in 1980 to 14% in 1990 and 43% in 2005.
Turkey is the tenth ranked producer of minerals in the world in terms of diversity. Around 60 different minerals are currently produced in Turkey. The richest mineral deposits in the country are boron salts, Turkey’s reserves amount to 72% of the world's total. According to the CIA World Factbook, other natural resources include coal, iron ore, copper, chromium, uranium, antimony, mercury, gold, barite, borate, celestine (strontium), emery, feldspar, limestone, magnesite, marble, perlite, pumice, pyrites (sulfur), clay, arable land, hydropower, and geothermal power.
Turkey is an oil and natural gas producer, but the level of production by the state-owned TPAO isn't large enough to make the country self-sufficient, which makes Turkey a net importer of both oil and gas. However, the recent discovery of new oil and natural gas fields in the country, particularly off the Black Sea coast of northern Anatolia;103 as well as in Eastern Thrace, the Gulf of İskenderun and in the provinces of the Southeastern Anatolia Region near the borders with Syria and Iraq; will help Turkey to reach a higher degree of self-sufficiency in energy production.104
The pipeline network in Turkey included 1,738 kilometres (1,080 mi) for crude oil, 2,321 kilometres (1,442 mi) for petroleum products, and 708 kilometres (440 mi) for natural gas in 1999. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, the second longest oil pipeline in the world, was inaugurated on May 10, 2005. The pipeline delivers crude oil from the Caspian Sea basin to the port of Ceyhan on Turkey's Mediterranean coast, from where it is distributed with oil tankers to the world's markets. The planned Nabucco Pipeline will also pass from Turkey and provide the European Union member states with natural gas from the Caspian Sea basin. The Blue Stream, a major trans-Black Sea gas pipeline, is operational since November 17, 2005, and delivers natural gas from Russia to Turkey. The Tabriz–Ankara pipeline is a 2,577 kilometres (1,601 mi) long natural gas pipeline, which runs from Tabriz in northwestern Iran to Ankara in Turkey. The pipeline was commissioned on July 26, 2001. In Erzurum, the South Caucasus Pipeline, which was commissioned on May 21, 2006, is linked to the Iran-Turkey pipeline. In the future, these two pipelines will be among the main supply routes for the planned Nabucco Pipeline from Turkey to Europe.
To cover the increasing energy needs of its population and ensure the continued raising of its living standard, Turkey plans to build several nuclear power plants. Following the construction of experimental reactors, proposals to build large scale nuclear power plants were presented as early as in the 1950s by TAEK,105 but plans were repeatedly canceled even after bids were made by interested manufacturers because of high costs and safety concerns. Turkey has always chosen Candu nuclear reactors because they burn natural uranium which is cheap and available locally and because they can be refueled online. This has caused uneasy feelings among Turkey's neighbours because they are ideal for producing weapons-grade plutonium. Turkey's first nuclear power plants are expected to be built in Mersin's Akkuyu district on the Mediterranean coast; in Sinop's İnceburun district on the Black Sea coast; and in Kırklareli's İğneada district on the Black Sea coast.106
Turkey is a partner country of the EU INOGATE energy programme, which has four key topics: enhancing energy security, convergence of member state energy markets on the basis of EU internal energy market principles, supporting sustainable energy development, and attracting investment for energy projects of common and regional interest.108
Source of renewable energy in Turkey was twice as much as the EU average. It was around 25-26 percent. At this time, one fourth of our energy needs are met by renewable energy. Turkey plan to raise the level of renewable energy to 30 percent by 2023.109
With the establishment of the Turkish Environment Ministry on August 9, 1991 (which later merged with the Ministry of Forestry on May 1, 2003, and became the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, and which later detached from Ministry of Forestry and merged with Ministry of Development and Housing on June 6, 2011, and became Ministry of Environment and City Planning), Turkey began to make significant progress addressing some of its most pressing environmental problems.110 111 The most dramatic improvements were significant reductions of air pollution in Istanbul and Ankara. The most pressing needs are for water treatment plants, waste water treatment facilities, solid waste management and conservation of biodiversity.citation needed
The country's wealth is mainly concentrated in the northwest and west, while the east and southeast suffer from poverty, lower economic production and higher levels of unemployment.112 However, in line with the continuous economic growth in Turkey during the recent decade, parts of Anatolia began reaching a higher economic standard. These cities are known as the Anatolian Tigers.
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