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 Turkey Industry Reports





Chemicals are indispensable to modern life and the development of the chemical industry

has helped to elevate the standard of living, an indicator of the level of industrialization in a

country. Chemical industry products contribute significantly to growth in other industrial



At the beginning of the 20th century there were a few chemical establishments,

manufacturing soap, liquorice extract, valonia extract, etc, within the boundaries of the

Ottoman Empire. From the establishment of the Republic of Turkey up to the 1950s, these

chemical works passed through a process of corporation and production began in some

fields such as explosives, medicine, agricultural chemicals, detergents, printing ink and

textile dyes and involved the final stages only. It was only after the 1950s, especially

during the planned economy period, that the development of the chemical industry in

Turkey accelerated. Between 1960 and 1980 economic policies were based on import

substitution and public sector investments were directed to petrochemicals, fertilizers and

basic organic and inorganic chemicals, the fields which required high investment, with low

profitability whereas private sector and foreign investments were directed to

pharmaceuticals, synthetic yarns, soaps and detergents.


In 1980 Turkey started to follow a new export-oriented economic policy. As a result of

these successful policies, production and exports of the manufacturing sector boomed.

The chemical industry, likewise, benefited from the new economic policy and showed an

impressive increase both in production and exports.


Today, the Turkish chemical industry with its modern technology and diversified products

is the key component of industrial production and integrated into the supply chain of

national industries, especially, textiles and automotive sectors.





Turkey has been manufacturing chemicals for a very long time, being a producer of many

basic and intermediate chemicals and petrochemicals. Turkish chemical production

includes petrochemicals, inorganic and organic chemicals, fertilizers, paints,

pharmaceuticals, soaps and detergents, synthetic fibers, essential oils, cosmetics and

personal care products. The majority of chemicals production is done by the private sector.

In chemical industry, 30% of the production has been directly used by the consumers


whereas 70% of production has been utilized in other sectors as intermediate goods and

raw materials. Turkish chemical industry has been seen as a sector dependent on imports

as regards to raw materials and technology. However, Turkey is among one of the leading

countries in the world that has boron, chrome, soda ash and trona reserves.


The chemical industry, together with the sub-industries such as plastics and rubber,

employs nearly 200.000 people and has about 6,2 thousand companies manufacturing

various chemicals. Very small percentage of the existing companies has more than 150

employees. Most of the companies in the chemical industry, especially private sector

companies, are located in Istanbul, Izmir, Kocaeli, Sakarya, Adana, Gaziantep and Ankara.

Turkish chemical industry has developed significantly in terms of quality, productivity and

protection of the environment, and is in the process of adopting the EU’s Technical Standards.


In addition, the responsible care, the chemical industry’s trademarked noncompulsory

initiative on environmental, health and safety issues has been successfully

implemented since 1992.


Turkish petrochemical industry has shown considerable growth since 1970. As an

upstream producer, TÜPRAŞ (Turkish Petroleum Refineries Corporation) operates as the

only integrated Refinery in Turkey with its 4 refineries in Izmit, Izmir, Kırıkkale and Batman.

On the other hand, as a downstream producer, the unique company in the Turkish

petrochemical industry is PETKİM Petrokimya Holding A.Ş. which is the only integrated

petrochemical complex in Turkey that operates in Petkim-Aliağa complex in Izmir. In

PETKİM’s Aliağa complex, a wide range of petrochemicals, all common plastics (HDPE,

LDPE, PS, PVC, and PP), aromatics, ethylene glycol, phtallic anhydride, terephthalic acid,

carbon black, synthetic rubber, acrylonitryl and caustic soda are produced. The total

production of these petrochemicals meets about 30% of domestic demand.


Since the textile sector is a well-developed sector in Turkey, polymer production related to

textiles and the production of textile chemicals have also developed simultaneously. Large

plants for the production of polyamide, polyester and acrylic fibers have been built and

production has been directed to both the foreign markets as well as the domestic market.

Almost all synthetic fibers are produced by the private sector and synthetic fiber production

is around 850 000 tons/year.


The fertilizer industry is one of the key industries for Turkey, which has vast agricultural

potential. The first independent fertilizer plant commenced production in 1954 and heavy

fertilizer investments were realized between the years 1960-1970. Today there are seven

major companies producing fertilizers exclusively: Tugsaş, Igsaş, Bagfas, Toros Gübre,

Ege Gübre, Akdeniz Gübre and Gübre Fabrikalari, which are all private enterprises.

Pharmaceuticals, soap and detergents, soda, chromium chemicals, boron chemicals,

paints, sodium sulphate, fatty acids and rose oil are the other main areas of production of

the chemical industry.


The pharmaceuticals industry has become one of the leading sectors of the chemical

industry. Production trends of pharmaceuticals are closely related to domestic demand.

Turkish pharmaceutical companies manufacture a wide range of pharmaceutical products,

mostly generic formulas. The number of pharmaceuticals on the market is over 3000; if

alternative posologies are included the number is over 7000. Domestic industry meets

90% of the pharmaceutical demand but new pharmaceuticals, such as ones for cancer,

vaccines and hormones are imported. The pharmaceuticals industry produces many active

ingredients of pharmaceuticals, primarily antibiotics and analgesics, by using fermentation,

extraction and synthesis methods. The major characteristics of the pharmaceuticals raw

materials industry are that mainly private companies invest in the sector and the existing

production capacity can easily be shifted to various production lines. It is worth mentioning

that the Afyon Alcaloids Factory produces 20% of the morphine consumed by

pharmaceuticals industries all over the world.


The Turkish soap and detergent industry has shown very good performance in terms of

quality, capacity and exports. There are many companies in the soap and detergent

industry, about 15 of them being the major ones; among these there are multinational

groups which have worldwide reputations. Since 1990 domestic and foreign investments in

the Turkish cleaning products industry have increased considerably. Since Turkey has a

large variety of herbs and natural products, natural soap production is also widespread


and done by small size local companies throughout Turkey. World famous “laurel soaps”

are produced in large quantities in Mersin, Antakya and its surrounding regions. Turkey is

also among the top producers of olives, therefore natural olive oil soaps are also

manufactured and exported in large quantities.



The consumption and production of cosmetics and personal care products are growing

rapidly. The number of cosmetics and personal care products is increasing every year.

Hair care has the largest share of the cosmetics and personal care products market in

Turkey. Shampoos represented around 59% of hair care products. Men’s grooming

products, depilatories, bath and shower products especially bar soaps, lip and eye makeup,

personal deodorants and antiperspirants, perfumes, cologne and other toilet waters,

baby care products and dentifrices are the main products. Natural cosmetic production is

on the rise due to growing demand for these products.


Parallel to the developments in Turkey’s construction, automotive and marine industries,

the paints and coatings industry has also developed and has became one of the most

dynamic sectors of the Turkish chemical industry. Today the industry produces about 800

000 tons/year of paints and coatings and is comprised of about 600 manufacturers, more

than 20 of which are large-scale companies. In addition to meeting domestic demand, the

Turkish paint sector has recently tended to export more.


Turkey has the largest soda factory in the Middle East with a total capacity of 750 000

tons/year. In addition to light and dense soda ash, refined sodium bicarbonate and sodium

silicate are produced at the Mersin plant. An extremely rich trona (natural soda ash)

deposit was found near Ankara, at Beypazari, and at present Turkey has substantial

export potential for soda ash. Eti Soda A.Ş. has started operation in 2009 and 1 million

tons/year soda ash will be produced.


Being among the top five countries supplying chrome ore to world markets, Turkey

produces and exports some of the most important chrome chemicals and derivatives such

as sodium bichromate, basic chrome sulfate, chromic acid and chrome oxide.

Turkey also enjoys a comparative advantage in boron chemicals (borax decahydrate,

borax pentahydrate, boric acid and sodium perborate) due to the size of her reserves, the

quality of minerals and proximity to consumer markets. Eti Maden İşletmeleri Genel

Müdürlüğü is the dominant producer of boron minerals and boron chemicals and the soleexclusive

exporter of boron chemicals.


Turkey has developed a substantial capacity and production of sodium sulphate. In sodium

sulphate production, Turkey ranks among the top producers in the world. Owing to

Turkey’s climatic and ecological conditions, many medicinal and aromatic plants are

cultivated or gathered from nature. Turkey is one of the most important rose oil exporters

in the world market. The majority of these exports originate from the Isparta region. Laurel

oil, thymus oil, lavander oil and origanium oil are also produced in Turkey.


In conjunction with recent industrial growth in Turkey, the consumption and production of

many other chemicals are growing rapidly and the number of chemicals produced is

increasing every year. The recent developments in textile and leather chemicals are also

worth mentioning and many small and medium size companies have recently started to

operate in these two sectors. In the Turkish chemical industry, there are more than 300

companies with foreign investment. The Turkish chemical industry has a share of nearly

15% of total foreign capital in Turkey.




Turkey's chemical industry exports are increasing steadily. In 2011 the chemical industry

was one of the important exporting sectors among total industrial exports. The value of

chemical exports was about US$ 17,1 billion in 2011, or about 12,71% of the total exports

(134,9 billion dollars) in Turkey.



Major fairs in the Turkish chemical industry in 2012 are as follows:

􀂃 AYSAF 8. International Footwear Industry Suppliers Fair in Istanbul, 29 Feb-3 March 2012.


􀂃 Chemistry, Chemical Industry, Chemical Products - Heating, Cooling, Ventilation,

Natural Gas And Systems, Building and Building Materials, Bathroom, Kitchen,

Ceramics, Ironmongery, Hardware, Installation, in Istanbul 13-15 September 2012.



􀂃 Chemistry, Chemical Industry, Chemical Products - Leather Technologies, Leather Products, Leather

Garments, Footwear, in Istanbul, 3-6 October 2012.


􀂃 TURKCHEM’12 (Chemicals, Laboratory and Technology) in Istanbul on 11-14 October 2012.




􀂃 Turkish Chemical Society


􀂃 Turkish Chemical Manufacturers Association


􀂃 Istanbul Chemicals and Chemical Products Exporters’ Association


􀂃 Akdeniz Chemicals and Chemical Products Exporters’ Association


TAGS: Turkish chemicals market, Turkey chemicals industry ,Turkish chemicals exporters,Turkish chemicals producers,
Turkish chemicals fairs, buy chemicals from Turkey, import chemicals from Turkey, Turkish chemical export , Turkish chemicals useful links ,
global chemical industry report 2019

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