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  • Writer's pictureL'Albatros International Trading Ltd.

Despite the Earthquake, February Exports were 18.6 Billion Dollars

Updated: May 9, 2023

Automotive industry ranked first among the sectors with the highest exports in February with 2.6 billion dollars. Chemicals and chemical products ranked second with 2.3 billion dollars and apparel sector ranked third with 1.6 billion dollars. Unit export value increased by 29.6 per cent compared to the same month of last year and rose to 1.69 dollars.

Truck manufactured in turkey

TIM President Mustafa Gültepe:

Production continues in provinces such as Gaziantep and Adana, which were less affected by the earthquake. The wheels have started to turn in Kahramanmaraş, Adıyaman and Malatya. I foresee that the capacity will increase to 60 per cent after the Ramadan feast.

Turkey exported 18.6 billion dollars in February. Exports in the 12-month period were 254.8 billion dollars.

Mustafa Gültepe, President of the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM), reminded that February was a difficult month for the whole country due to the earthquakes. Gültepe stated that while the export family mobilised to heal the wounds of the earthquake victims, they also worked to prevent trade from stopping.

Gültepe also added; “According to the General Trade System (GTS) records, we completed February with exports of 18.6 billion dollars. We are 6.4 per cent less than the same month last year. The exports of 11 provinces in the earthquake region decreased by 43 per cent to 985 million dollars. While our exports for the first two months covering the January-February period increased by 1.5 percent to 38 billion dollars, our exports for the last 12 months were 254.8 billion dollars. The automotive sector made the highest contribution to our exports last month with 2.6 billion dollars. Our other sectors in the top five were listed as chemicals and chemical products with 2.3 billion dollars, apparel with 1.6 billion dollars, electrical-electronics with 1.3 billion dollars and steel with 1.1 billion dollars. In February, 18 provinces increased their exports. Our top five exporting provinces were Istanbul, Kocaeli, Bursa, Izmir and Ankara. Last month, one thousand 455 companies joined the export family. Our unit export value increased by 29.6 per cent compared to the same month of last year and rose to 1.69 dollars.”

Gültepe stated that Turkey's top export destinations are Germany, Italy, the USA, Russia and the UK, and underlined that the recovery in exports to Saudi Arabia continues.


Mustafa Gültepe also said the following about the aid activities of the exporters' associations under the leadership of TIM for the earthquake victims and the process of returning to production in the region:

“Our pain is very great; our hearts are weeping blood. I once again wish God's mercy to our citizens who lost their lives in the earthquakes, urgent healing to the wounded and patience to those who lost their relatives. We visited the region with our friends, we saw the destruction on the spot. We talked to earthquake victims and industrialists. Although there was not much physical damage to the production infrastructure, production had come to a standstill due to loss of employment.

Production continues in provinces such as Adana and Gaziantep, which were less affected by the earthquake. The wheels started to turn in Kahramanmaraş, Adıyaman and Malatya. In these provinces, 30 per cent capacity has been reached. However, people are forced to migrate due to housing problems. Therefore, it is of great importance to meet the need for temporary accommodation as soon as possible. Based on this fact, we joined hands with our exporter associations and launched the 'TIM Container and Prefabricated Housing Project'. In the first stage, we are establishing temporary shelter centres in Kahramanmaraş, Adıyaman, Hatay and Malatya, which were most affected by the earthquake, with 1,000 houses for 5,000 people. We will hopefully start the shipment of the houses for the shelter centres to be located near the organised industrial zones as of next week. We will provide all kinds of support to our employees and their families in these centres. Because people have experienced very heavy traumas. It will take time to overcome this trauma and for our employees to participate in production. As the state and the private sector, we need to take steps to make it attractive for our earthquake victims to stay in the region and return to work. Our ministries and relevant institutions have made important arrangements in this regard. In addition to all these, our state can give a salary to the earthquake victims who return to work in the factories in the region for at least 6 months in addition to the salary they will receive from the company they work for.”


Mustafa Gültepe, who also evaluated the effects of the earthquake on exports, stated that they received very strong messages of cooperation and solidarity from customers abroad from the first day. Emphasising that Turkey has the capacity to meet orders despite the temporary disruption of production in the region, Gültepe said, “Many of our customers, who do not believe the rumours that some of our competitor countries are trying to spread, such as 'there will be a supply problem in Turkey', want to increase their cooperation with us. I would like to thank them on behalf of all our exporters.”


Mustafa Gültepe said that while trying to heal the wounds of the earthquake, the 2022 growth figures announced by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TURKSTAT) were a morale for them. Gültepe reminded that Turkey's economy grew by 5.6 per cent last year according to TURKSTAT's data, “About 40 per cent of the growth came from the contribution of exports of goods and services. Despite the great disaster, we will work with all our strength to show the highest performance in exports on the 100th anniversary of the founding of our Republic. We will participate in more fairs and organise more trade delegations to all markets, far and near. We will host more buying missions in our country,” he said.

Mustafa Gültepe added that the reduction in electricity and natural gas prices used in industry as of March will also have a positive impact on the competitiveness of exporters.

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