Turkey Economic Sectors


In the founding years of the Turkish Republic, the country was an agricultural state. Large areas and climatic conditions favored this. In the 1990’s, agricultural yields increased due to modernization and mechanization. Nevertheless, the share of the primary sector has fallen from over 26% to 11% since 1980, while the shares of industry and services have increased significantly. This is also noticeable in the export area. Today the share of agricultural goods is only 10%, in 1950 it was 93%.

Tea, tobacco, wheat, barley, poultry, eggs, fruit and vegetables are grown and produced in Turkey. With nuts and fruit Turkey is the world’s largest major producer. The country also ranks 5th in the world with agricultural land for greenhouses.

The subject of biotechnology is also causing controversy in Turkey.

Orange pickers in Turkey



According to historyaah, the tourism is an important economic sector in Turkey and one of the main sources of foreign exchange. The largest national group among tourists to Turkey is made up of around 4.4 million Germans, followed by Russians (2.8 million) and British (2.2 million). There are also around 3.6 million domestic tourists.

2016 decreased the number of international guests. Because of the Russian-Turkish crisis and the terrorist attacks, fewer tourists visited the country. Numerous cruise ships withdrew Turkey from their offer for 2016, and the political rapprochement between Russia and Turkey increased the number of Russian visitors from February 2017.

The tourist centers are the southern Aegean coast, the Turkish Aegean (3.2 million visitors) and the Turkish Riviera between Antalya and Cape Anamur (3.2 million). In 2014, 11.8 million guests came to Istanbul. Health tourism, which is promoted by the government, is likely to provide further impetus. An increase in the number of Chinese vacationers is also expected in 2019.

Financial sector

In 2001 Turkey experienced a severe financial and economic crisis and associated with it was a severe recession. The Turkish lira lost value, the national debt rose, interest rates rose and the real income of employees fell. Many small and medium-sized businesses perished and over a million workers lost their jobs. With the help of the IMF and a strict reform and austerity course, Turkey managed to master the crisis and return to economic stability under its then Finance Minister Kemal Dervis. Turkey survived the global financial crisis of 2009 almost unscathed. No bank had to be supported by state aid – a consequence of the 2001 crisis, when more than half of the commercial banks had to leave the market.

The 2014 AKP corruption scandal shook the confidence of the financial markets. The Turkish lira repeatedly slipped to a record low in trading with the US dollar. Turkish government bonds were also hit by the turmoil. They came under selling pressure after the temporary withdrawal of foreign investors.

In the short term, the coup of 2016 and the political unrest after the constitutional referendum also caused turbulence on the financial markets.


The economic upswing and increasing population rates are increasing the energy demand in Turkey (doubling of the primary energy demand between 2001 and 2014). This in a country that has no sources of energy besides poor quality coal and hydroelectric power. The energy demand (more than two thirds) is covered by imports. Oil comes from Azerbaijan, Northern Iraq and the Middle East. 60% of the energy imported consists of Russian natural gas. Russia is currently planning to turn Turkey into a distribution center for gas supplies from Russia to Europe due to the conflict with Ukraine.

However, Turkey currently also favors its own projects. With TANAP, she wants to ensure that natural gas from Azerbaijan reaches Turkey and Europe. This southern gas corridor is intended to help diversify one’s own energy supply without crossing Russia. Turkey is also relying on cooperation with the Kurdish regional government in Erbil (Northern Iraq). From 2017, 4 billion cubic meters of gas are expected to reach Turkey every year.

The share of renewable energies (wind, solar, geothermal) has increased the most in recent years compared to other energy sources. Turkey also relies on nuclear power. With the help of Russia, the first plant is being built in Akkuyu, southern Turkey, and is scheduled to go into full operation in 2023.

Trading partner

Germany is an important Turkish trading partner. A double taxation agreement between Turkey and Germany came into force in 2011. Most of the Turkish goods are exported to Germany (16 billion EUR) mainly in the fields of clothing, cars and car parts, machines, metal products. On the next places followed by the UK (983 million USD), Italy (871 million) and Iraq (855 million USD).

In terms of imports, Russia ranked first with a volume of USD 1.7 billion. Germany was in second place with USD 1.5 billion – ahead of China with USD 1.3 billion and the USA with an import volume of USD 1.1 billion.