With a long history of textile manufacturing dating back to the Ottoman Empire, Turkey remains an important country in the global textile and apparel industry. In 2020, the country ranked as the fourth largest exporter of textiles worldwide, accounting for almost 3.3 percent of all exports. The industry is also still showing signs of growth, with the value of both textiles and clothing exported having more than doubled since 2000. A large proportion of the textile and apparel goods leaving Turkey arrive in locations inside Europe, with Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain ranking as the top five destinations. In 2019, these three countries together accounted for almost nine billion dollars’ worth of exports.
For Turkey’s top players, textile and apparel production is clearly a profitable business. Among those most successful are Gülsan Sentetik Dokuma Sanayi, Kipas Mensucat Isletmeleri, and Sanko Tekstil Isletmeleri, responsible for textile manufacturing.
These companies made a respective 2.5 billion, 2.3 billion and 2.1 million Turkish lira in production-based sales in 2019. The leading apparel manufacturers in the country, meanwhile, are Sun Tekstil and Hugo Boss Tekstil Sanayi, generating 1.1 billion and one billion Turkish lira, respectively, in that same year.
As well as the successful manufacturing and trade industries, Turkey’s retail market for textiles and clothing is also strong. Since 2002, consumer spending on such items has increased considerably, with households spending a total of approximately 4.68 million Turkish lira per month on clothing and 605.3 million lira per month on household textiles in 2019. Given that there are over 30 thousand stores specializing in selling textiles in the country and almost 55 thousand stores selling clothing, the retail sector is also a key area for employment. In 2019, these stores employed 55 thousand and 265 thousand people, respectively.
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