Turkey’s double digit economic growth has fueled the rise in electronic commerce in this previously cash-driven society. The growth in the Turkish banking sector, corporate and personal credit cards, and other online transactions has resulted in an increased focus by industry and government on IT security. This report provides an overview of the market and follow-up steps for American exporters to make sales in this dynamic market.
The most widespread and the most popular technologies in providing information security include encryption (cryptography), digital signature and PKI, network segmentation and firewalls, back up, attack detection and tracking, access control, security depth and antivirus.
Rising user awareness with security training will minimize the possibility of security gaps or other risk factors.
Prominent technologies regarding the gathering, storing, and distribution of information are among the top priorities of Turkey’s private sector. Despite the global economic crisis that led to less spending on information technology infrastructure and upgrades, the IT security industry has been one of the few industries to remain in constant growth throughout the crisis. The same holds true in Turkey.
Corporate and government IT security systems are a particular focus in the Turkish market.
Security of information leaving the company as well as identity theft, network security against attackers, viruses, trojans and storage of network activities are among the top priorities with particular emphasis on providing legally sustainable evidence used in courts of law.
IT Security Developments in Turkey
The Turkish Government has increased its expenditures in hardware, software and education in battling cyber threats. In order to implement these defenses the Departments of Justice, Interior, the Turkish National Police, and the Turkish military have all updated their information security technologies. All governmental and military institutions have been training their personnel up to international standards and have been inviting expert professionals from abroad to provide further training. Resources indicate that the Turkish government and private sector institutions are looking at new technologies to enhance their IT security systems.
One such project, representing a significant improvement in the Turkish Government’s efforts to centralize information and information security has been spear-headed by the Turkish Department of Justice by implementing ‘UYAP – National Judiciary Informatics System’ in line with the National Plan for the Adoption of the Acquis (NPAA) to achieve objectives stated in the ‘EU’ Accession Partnership. Modernisation of justice and penal reform are included as fundamental priorities in the Accession Partnership and in the NPAA.
UYAP has been carried out to establish an electronic network covering all Courts, Offices of Public Prosecutors, and Law Enforcement Offices together with the Central Organization of the Ministry of Justice in order to realize these aims. This presents strong medium-term opportunities for U.S. IT firms, however European competition will be stiff.
UYAP is a relatively new project and is in progress, providing many opportunities for those companies with specific solutions for such large enterprise systems. The project includes video & audio recording, and video conferencing systems in criminal courts, e-signature, and e-litigation solutions as well as SMS integrated information inquisition systems.
Along with UYAP, and the NPAA, Turkish authorities have been investing in digital investigation, surveillance, and forensics laboratories. These laboratories carry voice biometrics, Automated Finger Identication Systems (AFIS), data recovery, video processing, critical infrastructure protection, document examination, lawful interception, cryptology, intelligence, threat assesment, intelligence support systems, network intelligence, cyber crime investigations, anti-money laundering, national security solutions and more. Providing these technologies, as well as training operating personnel, create a promising market for U.S technology providers. This year the Turkish National Police together with the Istanbul Governorship announced plans to invest approximately 10 million USD into building an accredited laboratory in Istanbul, which will also dedicate itself to training regional police forces in the CIS and the Middle East. Although not officially confirmed, approximately 60 million USD is expected to be invested in Ankara in a similar project by the Turkish National Police. It is important to mention that Hacettepe University in Ankara, one of the most prominent state universities in Turkey, has just made the necessary investment to form a research and development facility for digital forensic sciences. Given that there are 15 major cities in which the national police has established crime laboratories, it is expected that the government spending on digital IT investigations will increase.
Due to Turkey’s position as a founding NATO member, Turkey has been a trusted partner in implementing and manufacturing information security solutions. The Turkish government financed ‘Tubitak UEKAE – The Turkish Institute of Electronics and Cryptology’ - perhaps the best example of one of the top manufacturers of cryptology devices used by NATO members. Tubitak works closely with U.S. companies and is a prime customer of such technologies and enjoys strong partnerships with international firms.
Another such institution is the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA), an organization used by the Turkish Government to share know-how and technologies in the region. TIKA is the Turkish Government’s technical assistance agency.
TIKA has coordination offices in 20 countries in 20 countries and operates in many countries across Africa, Asia and Europe, delivering development assistance to partner countries through its projects and activities.’
Turkey continues to play a crucial role in the region on cyber security. For example, Turkey has been very active in the implementation of a Cyber Crimes Unit within the Turkish National Police and has also been an example in the region by pushing for a Cyber Crimes Law, which awaits for approval at the Turkish Parliament.
Authorities in digital investigations, and forensic sciences as well as training partners for CIS and Middle Eastern authorities include the Gendermarie Criminal Department governed by the Ministry of Defence, the Council of Forensic Sciences governed by the Department of Justice of Turkey, and National Police Criminal Laboratories governed by the Interior Ministry, all of which are members of the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI), and are accredited internationally. In short Turkey represents an excellent platform for U.S. IT Security firms to expand to other markets in the region.
Recent regulations from the Turkish Government include law 5651 (currently in the Parliament awaiting acceptance) which is to design a concrete framework of regulations regarding evidence gathering and convicting cyber-criminals. According to government sources, the law seeks to protect personal and corporate data against unlawful collection, usage and sharing of sensitive data. Turkish National Police Cyber Crimes Unit based in Ankara is the main unit responsible for protecting citizens and corporations and implementing the law in cyber crimes.
Turkey is expected to move to internet protocol technologies to better gather evidence and convict cirminials. The technology is to upgrade from IPv4 to IPv6. Technologies and innovations regarding this upgrade will be required by the Turkish Government.
• Enterprise Resource Planning software with embedded security applications.
• Testing software and hardware. Virtual attack testing software and hardware is required by companies to simulate live attacks to better train and equip themselves in case of attacks. Also, system testers are needed to asses capacity and quality control of the integral IT system.
• Training for employees to better understand attacks and threats and what can be done to avoid system weaknesses. Synergy training to create defense shields consisting of technology-human actions-training are required in the industry.
• Monitoring software and hardware. In order to stop sensitive information leakage and to be able to collect evidence for court cases, monitoring software and hardware are in demand.
• Data storage and back-up systems. Correct data storage and back-ups are an integral part of IT security and mission critical applications.
Turkey’s Information Technology (IT) market size is estimated to have reached $5.2 billion in 2007 and the total ITC industry (including telecommunications) is estimated at $23.80 billion (ref. Interpro). The ICT market increase is estimated at 15% for 2008.
The break down of the ICT market gross revenue is as follows: 68% carrier services (GSM operators), 11% hardware sales, 10% telecomm equipment, 7% services (maintenance, set up, network security etc.), 3% software, 1% consumer goods. With over 7 million personal computers in Turkey and 16.5 million internet users (according to TNS Piar), pc sales are still the main driver for gross IT sales.
The introduction of ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) by Turkish Telecom is providing internet speeds up to 50 times faster than the normal dial up speeds used frequently by small businesses and households and has boosted e-commerce transactions. Presently, there are 4.0 million ADSL broadband subscribers and this has brought new opportunities for hardware and software sales (including PC and notebook sales, along with accessories such as speakers, wi-fi modems, bluetooth USB sticks, digital music archives, storage and many more ‘gadgets.).
The Turkish information technologies market is dominated by hardware sales. The market has experienced double-digit growth over the past five and the hardware market for Turkey and is estimated at $2.64 billion for 2007. An estimated 2.6 million PC’s were sold in 2007, half in notebooks. Notebook sales are expected to increase as hotspots and wireless networks and applications become more available.
U.S. IT hardware and software manufacturers will find that due to time commitment, cost, and complexity of the regulatory and commercial environment, it is essential to have local representation. Although many people in the larger urban commercial centers understand English language may be a serious barrier in rural areas. It is therefore imperative that marketing information and user guides be written to the consumers’ own language. To win over the local customer, a Turkish language web site would be extremely useful.
For companies seeking to gauge market receptivity, exhibitions and conferences are excellent product launch vehicles. Reconfiguring the user interface and software would not be necessary in the initial market fact finding stages and that once market interest is determined and confirmed can the U.S. company and its local partner look at packaging the hardware and software to meet the needs of the Turkish consumer. Software translations may not be needed for professionals, however software products for the general consumer are necessary.
Following is the market size estimate for the IT Sector (excluding telecommunications):
Total Market Size
Total Local Production
Imports from the U.S.
Exchange Rate used: $1 = 1.170 YTL (New Turkish Lira)
Note: The above statistics are unofficial estimates.
Audio Visual Equipment
Audio Visual Broadcast Equipment
Wireless equipment / services
The audiovisual and the consumer electronics market is also seen as a future prospect as smart homes, LCD/plasma TV’s, digital cameras, removable data storage and PDA’s are in demand. As was the case with the immense growth rate of mobile phones now reaching 43 million users.
According to the Carmel Group estimates, there will be 30 million subscribers for the digital satellite market in 2008. Market research shows that 97% of Turkish families see television as their prime source for entertainment and news. Consumer trends indicate that large screen LCD’s and Plasma TV sales are on a roll as well as free satellite receivers. Recently, local provider Digiturk began offering HDTV and this expected to spur increased sales of LCD and Plasma TVs.
According to a study made by Hannover-Messe Istanbul, all Turkish television channels are expected to invest at least $30 million in new transmitting systems, $10 million in electricity generating groups and another $10 million in studio modifications in the next few years. The total estimated investment for the AV industry to move into digital broadcasting, new studios, and transmitters will be approximately $5 billion over the next 10 years.
The industry consensus is that the next big market opportunity for ICT firms in Turkey is wireless broadband, audiovisual products and accessories. Hot spots in airports, café’s and other public locations are in the rise. Wireless connectivity devices such as PCMIA cards, bluetooth hardware, edge technology, gprs, gps, internet via satellite are also increasing in popularity and sales. Wireless connectivity is also boosting notebook pc sales as people seek mobility and connectivity at the same time.
The nation has 14 million TV homes, 1 million cable TV subscribers, 1 million ADSL broadband Internet subscribers, 15.5 million internet users with a total of 7 million pc’s and 1.250 million notebooks in country. Digital broadcasting is projected to reach 3.5 million homes by 2008.
Almost all-multinational competitors such as Sony, Toshiba, Philips, Samsung, and Creative are competing for market share. Turkey is the only country in Europe to produce notebooks with Vestel. The overwhelming portion of consumer electronics equipment is imported to the market.
Standards and Import Regulations - CE mark is an issue. Since Turkey has adapted full acceptance of the regulations due to its European Union Customs Union membership, IT products need to meet the European Union directives on low voltage and electro magnetic compatibility. IT products need a CE mark to be able to imported into Turkey.
European Union (EU) Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) and Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) is also an issue.
Language barriers do pose a challenge for U.S. companies, hence a Turkish partner, distributor and/or agent is strongly advised. U.S. partners and products perceived well and favorably amongst business circles and consumers.
Apart from electro-mechanical standards, IT producers must ensure that all electronics be compatible with the radio-frequency levels of the Turkish national standards on frequencies. Products manufactured prior to 1 January 2000 cannot be imported. This is an outstanding regulation attributed to hinder problems related to the Y2K bug. No secondhand IT equipment is allowed into Turkey “unless the equipment is an integral part of a machine used in manufacturing”.
Internet Users Rank
Internet Users Date of Information
Telephones - mobile cellular
Cell Phone Rank
Cell Phone Date of Information
Telephones - main lines in use
Telephones Date of Information
GDP - real growth rate(%)
Growth Date of Information
GDP - per capita
GDP/pc Date of Information
GDP Date of Information
Pop Date of Information
July 2003 est.
The port in Cesme, Turkey where I got an excruciating massage in the Turkish