Textile is one of the key sectors in the Turkish economy in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), employment and export. Textile accounts for 10 % of the Turkish GDP and 20% of employment in manufacturing sector. There are about 44,000 manufacturing companies in the sector. Turkish textile/clothing exports have reached 23.4 billion dollars in 2007. Textile/clothing exports' share in Turkish export is 22% in value.
Turkey's textile industry relies on locally-grown cotton. Turkey, a traditional cotton grower, is now the world's seventh largest cotton producer. In the 2005/2006 season, the amount of cotton grown in Turkey was estimated at 800.000 tons. With the completion of the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) in southeastern Turkey, cotton production is expected to nearly double.
As a quality cotton-producing country, Turkey has integrated and diversified production in all subsectors of the textile industry produces and exports all types of yarns, fabrics, clothing, household textiles, many ready-made textile products and technical textiles. This means a huge textile machinery park and a large and continuous demand for textile machinery.
The strong textile industry in Turkey initiated the development of the textile machinery and equipment industry. Until 1980 nearly all textile machinery and equipment were imported. However, starting in 1980 some local production of small and medium-sized low-tech machinery began. At present, the line of products manufactured by the companies varies substantially from highly automated equipment to basic models and local producers are able to compete with foreign companies in most machinery categories, such as atmospheric jet dyeing (overflow) or blow dyeing machinery.
The majority of textile machinery and equipment manufacturers in Turkey range from small to medium sized companies mainly located in Istanbul and Izmir. Due to the increase in demand for Turkish textiles and clothing, especially for high-end products, textile and clothing companies want to boost their production through installing more efficient and sophisticated machines with high technology into their production lines. Turkish companies who are aware of this fact are in search of joint ventures for this huge market.
Recently, Turkey has emerged as a machine maker and' the Turkish machinery industry has recorded a substantial increase in exports compared to Turkey's overall exports. In 2006 the export value of the machinery industry was US $8.75 billion, showing a 35% increase compared with 2006 figures. Its share in total exports was 8% in 2007.
Textile machinery and equipment exports have increased rapidly in last three years. Turkish textile machinery exports were US $162.8 million in 2005 and increased to US $238.4 million in 2007 with a share of 2.7% in total machinery exports.
The Turkish textile machinery industry sector has an integral role to play in the growth of Turkish textile industry. Besides supplying the Turkish domestic market the textile machinery and equipment industry has great importance for Turkey due to its promising export potential. Turkish exports of textile machinery and equipment consists mainly of machinery (other than machines under heading 8450) for washing, cleaning, wringing, drying, ironing, pressing (including fusing presses), bleaching, dyeing, dressing, finishing, coating or impregnating textile yarns, fabrics or made-up textile articles and machines for applying the paste to the base fabric or other support used in the manufacture of floor coverings such as linoleum; machines for reeling, unreeling, folding, cutting or pinking textile fabrics.
At present, the Turkish textile machinery and equipment industry is the most modern in the Middle East, North Africa, Balkans, Baltic and Central Asia and produces machinery and equipment required for the textile industry and all parts and accessories. The sector exports are directed to about 135 countries. In 2007, major export markets in order of rank are Germany, India, Egypt, Uzbekistan, Bangladesh, Iran, France, the United Kingdom and Syria, almost all textile manufacturing countries. High engineering skills, product flexibility, continuous product development and adaptation, and efficient after-sales services enable Turkey to export Turkish made textile machinery and equipment all over the world at an increasing rate.