The origin of the Turkish textile sector started in the Ottoman period during the XVI and XVII centuries. Throughout this period the government focused on this sector, and with the begining of the Turkish Republic
Te sector continued its development throughout the 20th century, especially from 1923 to 1962. The increase in cotton production, a basic raw material, contributed decisively to the growth of the sector. During the 80´s the textile sector opened to the world, this being its turning point towards internationalization, reaching in the 90´s
The majority of Turkish textile enterprises are medium size firms. Most of the exporting companies are clusted in Istanbul, Izmir, Denizli, Bursa, Kahramanmaras and Gaziantep. Due to pricing competition from Asian companies in general and Chinese in particular, the Turkish textile industry has been focusing over the past few years in products with high added value and quality. According to the WTO, in 2016 Turkey was the 3rd worldwide textile exporter, second among those in Europe, exporting 49% to the EU, and having its second main market in the former Soviet republics. The export amount was 598 million $ in 2016. The main advantages of the Turkish textile sector are:
- High quality of raw materials.
- Proximity to the main markets (EU).
- Labour cost comparatively lower.
- Highly qualified work force.
- Liberal commercial policies.
- Developed textile processing industry.
- Free Trade Agreement with the EU and other main markets.
For all these reasons the Turkish textile sector is highly interesting to find commercial agreements with local manufacturers with years of experience and comparatively lower production costs.