Capital inflows have helped fuel an outflow of goods and services: agriculture, autos, chemicals, foods and beverages, machines and pharmaceuticals. Turkey’s pharma sector ranks sixth in Europe and 14th worldwide; its auto sector has climbed to 16th. Such diversity contributed to a 275 percent increase in exports between 2002 and 2011, according to Turk Stat.
Unlike other export-powered economies, Turkey’s biggest companies and products are largely unfamiliar to most consumers in the U.S. The only exceptions: dried figs and apricots, raisins and hazelnuts, which Turkey produces more of than any country.
Nevertheless, four of the nation’s top 10 exporters are auto companies, while the machinery sector, which has grown at a 20 percent annual rate since 1990, accounted for 8.3 percent of imports as of 2011, according to Turk Stat.
Textiles and apparel have been overtaken by autos and others on the export front, according to according to the CIA’s World Fact Book.
Turkey’s decade-long ascent has a lot to do with the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, who is also chairman of the ruling, center-right Justice and Development Party. Since taking power in 2003, the government has pushed through a wave of economic reforms, revived a struggling economy deep in debt to the International Monetary Fund and sidelined the once-powerful military establishment.
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