Analysis on Turkey
Turkey is located at the northeast end of the Mediterranean Sea (southwest Asia and south East Europe). It straddles the continents of Europe and Asia and is just about the size of the state of Texas. Its neighbors include; to the north; Russia, Ukraine and Romania; Greece and Bulgaria to the west. To East are Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Iran, and lastly, Syria and Iraq to the south.
With close to 75% of the 81 million population being Turkish (2014 CIA estimates), the country survived military coups over the decades until in 2002 when the IMF initiated a recovery program that included financial and fiscal reforms that the Turkish government adopted. These reforms not only saved the country from economic collapse, but also stabilized it. The same year, the opposition won the election with a landslide victory but still feared being ousted by the military so much that it kept arresting suspected officers. Though a member of European Union since 2005, war has still gripped the country. However, after months of talks, in May 2013, it ceased. The consistent political unrest and conflict with neighbor countries bother the confidence of investors to date.
The country's largely free market economy is driven mostly by its industries (mostly clothing and textile) and service sectors. The rise of relevance and importance of electronic, transport equipment and construction industries have overtaken dependency on the textile industries. Agriculture sector still proudly controls 25% of employment. A generation of young entrepreneurs has aggressively reduced unemployment levels increased production in diverse fields and prospered the private sector. Exports include foodstuff, textile, metal manufacturers and transport equipment. Imports, on the other hand, are chemicals, fuel, and machinery and transport equipment too. There has been a slight rise in the unemployment rate (from 4% in 2008 to 9.3% in 2013). It is still manageable and controllable as the country's Gross National Saving is a safe 19.4% of the GDP. More encouraging is the fact the 97% dependency on importing oil stops with the pipeline projects to help transport gas into Europe. It began since May 2006 when oil began to flow through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. This oil discovery is a major milestone that has seen Turkey's robust economic growth in, ironically, times of global economic turmoil and especially in Europe.
Facilitated efficiently by the Union of chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), Business opportunities, according to global edge (2014), lists thousands of trade leads with the country for both import and export. The capital Markets Board, on the other hand, regulates the financial services. It contains laws and resources for investors.
The mission of the leading agency for management, funding and research nationally; the scientific and Technological Research council of Turkey (TUBITAK), is to advance technology by sponsoring and developing projects carried out in private and public organizations.
The Turkish Government's adoption of the IMF reforms in 2002 not only strengthened the economy of the country but also steered it to a stable growth that averaged 6% until 2008. The well-planned and efficient financial markets and banking system sustained Turkey through the recession in 2009 which had caused the GDP to drop. The privatization program has increasingly reduced the government involvement in industry, transport and communication.
The Ministry of Health issues regulatory policies in the health care industry. It is responsible for regulating medical institutes and ensuring the regulation of their infrastructures. The Ministry also provides simple access to information regarding public health, potential health threats, and the prevention of diseases. It also promotes health research and investments.
Social and cultural factors
Turkish is the official language and a whopping 99.8% of the over 81 million population are Muslim. A meager 18% minority are the Kurdish ethnic group. Over the years, the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) has cried foul and even staged guerrilla attacks that led to bloodshed; thousands died and thousands more were displaced.
With only 6.6% aged (65years and over), the total dependency ratio is 49.3%. The elderly constitute 11% of the dependency ratio. The growth rate is a stable 1.12% according to 2014 IMF estimates. Most of Turks (71%) live in urban areas and accessible to basic needs including water and education. 2.9% of the GDP is spent on education. Consequently, 94.1% of the populations are literate.
Since 1960, the military has ousted the government four times. To date, the government is keen on quelling any signs of resistance. The chief of Staff, among other ranked officers resigned in the year 2011 citing suspicion and interrogation by the government. Political stability and growth in democracy has been at its best since the opposition won the election with a landslide victory in 1983. With the capturing of PKK leader in Kenya, calm has been restored. Corruption charges are, however rampant within the government institutions.
Modernization of available facilities has been a prioritized project for the Turkish government. Domestically, an efficient and comprehensive telecommunications network is undergoing rapid expansion and improvement particularly in mobile services. The implementation of a technologically advanced network (using both fiber-optic cable and digital microwave radio relay) is facilitating communication in the urban centers and rapidly increasing the subscribers involvement. Sub marine fiber-optic cabling in the Mediterranean and the Black sea links Turkey to Italy, Greece, Israel, Bulgaria, Romania and Russia (this is according to CIA and IMF reports 2014). International services provided by the navy has set up satellite earth stations, mobile satellite terminals and Eutelsat systems to modernize communication.
Major sea-ports include Aliaga, Ambarli, Eregli, Izmir, Kocaeli and Yarimca among others besides container ports. There are 91 airports with paved runways.
The ministry of Science, Industry and Technology of Turkey implements industrial policies concerning products, enforces research and development in regards to science and technology, enforces fair competition, encourages technological innovations, implements safeguards and promotes cooperation among industries. The young interpreters have increasingly used modern technology to innovate systems and sell their business. In so doing, they have created employment and reduced dependency levels in the country. Business transacted on-line and banking transacted on the Internet are some of the ways the young generation has revolutionized Turkey.
The Turkish press provides business news and current event from Turkey and around the globe. Most articles on the site focus on the Turkish economy and marketing. According to global edge, this exposure sells the country to investors faster and easily. Turkey is also marketed as a tourist destination to potential tourists around the globe. Latest technology is used in marketing the country as a government initiative and also private sectors as allowed the Turkish government.
With the introduction of oil for import, Turkey has become self sustainable and potential business partner to trade with in different areas of interest. Its location is also very appropriate; it borders Europe and Asia, and is close to Africa; it has many neighbors and yet is not landlocked. Its accessibility to the seas (Black sea to the North and Mediterranean to the south) is an extra advantage for international trade.
The rapid and consistent recovery in the last couple decades was made possible by a strong fiscal consolidation and rigorous monetary policies (IMF sources, 2013). This dependable trend is attractive for foreign business relations. The results are consistent and positive.
A literate population due to accessibility to educational facilities at affordable prices has expanded the private sector and the overall GDP of the country. This literate population ultimately creates a competitive advantage both for the local and foreign companies as it promotes innovation and creates opportunities for the young generation to improve research and development operations in the country.
Extending foreign operations to Turkey would particularly focus on the fact that the country has had an amazing economic stability and sharp, consistent growth amid the global crisis. The continuous culture of transparency in the current government and a literate population are also factors to be considered favorable conditions for involvement in operations.
The strategic position the country is located eases accessibility and communication.
Major risks likely to occur in Turkey include natural disasters; for instance, multiple earthquakes in the northern parts of the country. Moreover, the country's local and international conflicts cannot be ignored. Uprising from the minor Kurd Party has never been completely dealt with and poor relations with Greece over the border have been ultimately solved.
Recommendations and conclusion
Based on the analyzed conducted in this report, it is my recommendation to consider expanding the company's operations into Turkey. Though fears and political unrest exist, the stable economic situation, well developed infrastructure and a literate population weigh in favor of initiating operations.
Baran, Zeyno. 2010. Torn country: Turkey between secularism and Islamism. Stanford, Calif: Hoover Institution Press, Stanford University.
Roy, Olivier. 2004. Turkey today: a European country? London: Anthem Press.
Williams, Lovett E., and Gary Griffen. 1991. Wild turkey country. Minocqua, WI: NorthWord Press.