This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 6/18/2019


Market size estimates for the ICT sector:

ICT Market Size

U.S. exports of computer and electronic products to Turkey:
ICT Exports


IT spending on hardware, software, IT services and telecommunication services in Turkey reached $27.5 billion in 2018.  Spending on information technologies was $9.4 billion and on communication technologies, $18.1 billion.  Employment in the sector climbed to 139,000 and Turkey’s exports are valued at approximately $1 billion.  With a large domestic market and sizeable potential, spending in the ICT sector is expected to grow faster than the global average.

As of April 2018, 82.5% of households in Turkey had broadband internet access, up from 78% the previous year.  Computer and internet usage among individuals aged 16-74 in 2018 was 59.6% and 72.9%, respectively.  These numbers are significantly higher for the male population, at 80.4% and 65.5%, respectively.  The annual growth rate in number of internet users is 13%.
There are 52 million active social media users in Turkey.  In comparison with last year’s numbers, social media users increased by 2 million.  The primary social media platform used is YouTube, followed by Instagram and Facebook.

The most heavily invested areas in ICT are:

  • 5G technology-smart phones and tablets/IOT

  • Cloud computing

  • M2M

  • Data centers and disaster recovery areas

  • IT services

The Turkish technology market has significant growth potential as a technology-driven young population continues to buy consumer electronics, software and products.

Traditionally, significant PC sales were confined to Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, but now PC sales have received new momentum as the focus of demand shifted towards the Anatolian region.  This trend is expected to continue as the rate of PC penetration rises.  PC penetration has a ripple effect on the purchase of related items such as ADSL subscriptions, modems, software and other IT products and services.

The broadband market reached 73.8 million subscribers in 2018 and the number of fixed broadband users is 13.4 million.  xDSL technology is the main technology in Turkey, with 9.5 million subscribers.  In addition, there are 2.8 million fiber, and 932,000 cable, internet users.  The fixed broadband penetration rate in Turkey is 16.3%, compared with the 30.4% average OECD rate, indicating strong potential in Turkey. 

Fiber optic infrastructure investments have accelerated the fixed broadband market, with Turkish Telekom leading with 256,000km (as of end of 2017) of fiber optic infrastructure compared with other operators, whose fiber optic length totals 68,000km. 

Turkey’s mobile penetration rate is 55.2%.  56.3 million users connect to the internet through mobile phones, in comparison with 1.2 million connecting via computer.  There are three major GSM cellular operators in Turkey; Turkcell, Vodafone and Turk Telekom.  Turkcell has the lead with a 41.3% market share, followed by Vodafone with 36.6% and Turk Telekom with 22.1%.

After Turkcell, Turk Telekom and Vodafone were awarded 3G licenses in 2008, and the 3G market has rapidly evolved over recent years, reaching a 91.3% penetration rate in 2017.  Today, mobile phone users use 3G plus and LTE.  LTE licenses are given to companies and, in April 2016, 4.5G (LTE) technology came into use in the Turkish market.  Within a year, the total number of 4.5G subscribers reached 57 million.  Due to 4.5G deployment in Turkey, e-commerce, mobile broadband, mobile banking services and mobile television services increased, creating favorable business opportunities for investors.  New technology investments and efforts to transition to 5G technology will accelerate sector expansion.

After the launch of the Android market in 2011, sales of Android OS handsets greatly increased along with a general increase in the percentage of mobile phone users.  Android paved the way for the development of applications in the market and this is expected to grow even further with funding and private investment for entrepreneurs in Turkey.

The three GSM cellular operators, Turkcell, Vodafone and former AVEA, and the fixed line operator, Turk Telekom, have invested $4 billion in equipment and services to expand their services.  With the introduction of 3G, IPTV, online services, content and media services, E-business, personalized services, music downloads, games, multi-play, video services, and other mobile entertainment, this segment has been developing rapidly, creating new business areas and revenues.

The BTK (Information and Communication Technologies Authority) has registered over 80 million GSM cellular phone handsets in Turkey.  The user penetration rate is 113%.  Many subscribers regularly exchange their cell phones for new models sustaining consistent growth in the handset market.  Samsung has the lead in the mobile and wireless market; however, Apple’s iPhone has been extremely successful in recent years.  GSM cell phone sets suitable for video downloading and TV broadcasting equipped with broadband internet access will contribute to growth in this sector.  These new technologies will be the basis for the enhanced 5G operations. 

In Turkey, ZTE, Nokia, Northel Telecom, Alcatel, Siemens, Ericsson and NEC supply the majority of fixed line switches, trans-multiplexers and other telephony equipment.  Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei are major network providers in Turkey.  U.S. companies can be competitive in software programs required for customer databases, emergency call services, corporate management and intelligent network operation centers.  Cisco, Motorola, Nokia, Ericsson and Siemens are the main GSM switch and base station suppliers.  U.S. companies can be competitive in new software products required by GSM cellular operators to provide new services to their clients and improve corporate and client management.

The GSM frequencies in Turkish market start from 800 and go up to 2600 MHz.  As for frequency variation, Turkcell possesses the widest spectrum.

This attractive consumer electronics trend has lured many international and national electronic retail supermarkets to establish a presence in the market. German MediaMarkt, Turkish Teknosa, Vatanbilgisayar and Gold Bilgisayar have been competing for several years in Turkey.

Leading Sub-Sectors

  • 5G-related technologies and services/IOT

  • Cyber security solutions

  • Consumer electronics

  • M2M communication/Robotics supported by Artificial Intelligence/ Augmented Reality applications

  • Fiber optic solutions

  • Blockchain solutions

  • Wireless equipment and services

  • Internet Protocol Television (IPTV)


5G, a priority for the Turkish Government, is attracting investments in the telecommunications market.  In 2019, $5 billion is expected to be allocated for this purpose from the government’s ICT budget.  BTK, the authority and main entity leading 5G efforts in Turkey, formed the ‘New Generation Mobile Communication Technologies Turkey (5GTR) Forum’, which is made up of government, universities, manufacturers, operators and NGOs.  The 5GTR Forum will provide a platform for meeting 5G requirements in the Turkish market.  It will enhance localization and collaboration among vertical sectors and meet the needs of society.  It will act like a pioneer to commence projects with the government according to market needs.  Working groups have been formed for 5G transformation and include participation from major universities, associations and private companies such as Ericsson, Huawei, ZTE, Vestel, Vodafone, Turkcell, Turk Telekom, Ulak Communication, Telecommunications Businessmen Association, and Technology Development Foundation of Turkey.  Netas, Aselsan, Havelsan, BTK are the coordinators of these working groups.  BTK signed a protocol to establish a 5G Open Test Field in Ankara designed to test new technology, create an educated and talented workforce, and undertake R&D to create local and national 5G tech products.  Turkey plans to make 5G operable in 2020.
Primary industries of focus for 5G will be automotive, media & entertainment, energy, health and agriculture.

Furthermore, fiber optic solutions are gaining market access as Turk Telekom, TTNet and other ISPs make infrastructure investments.

The cybersecurity segment is expected to grow as corporate and government ICT security systems still need to attract significant funding.  Network security against attackers and viruses, email and web security, cyber governance, identity and certificate governance, mobile security, system security, data and application security are the top priorities in the market. 

The Turkish Government has increased expenditures on hardware and software to battle cyber threats.  To implement these defenses, BTK, the Ministry of Transport, Maritime and Communications, Ministry of Justice and Interior, the Turkish National Police, and the Turkish military will continue to update their cybersecurity technologies.  The Ministry of Transport, Maritime and Communications formed SOMEs (Cyber Incident Response Teams), which are present within all state organizations and institutions to protect them from cyber-attacks.

BTK, TUBITAK (Turkish R&D Institute) and the Ministry of Communication & Transportation are leading the government’s cybersecurity efforts.

The young population of Turkey continues to drive sales of PCs, tablets, cell phones, consumer electronics, and cellular voice and data services.  The audiovisual market is expected to rise further as smart buildings are constructed with audiovisual and control room installations as well as support entertainment consumer goods and services such as IPTV.

Web Resources

For further information on this section or more on potential opportunities, contact:

Gokce Tuncer
Commercial Specialist
U.S. Commercial Service Turkey

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