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Textiles and Clothing Industry of Turkey: An Overview


Clothing Industry: Production

Textiles and clothing are among the most important sectors of the Turkish economy and foreign trade. These two sectors are the core of Turkish economy in terms of GDP contribution, share in manufacturing, employment, investments and macroeconomic indicators. These sectors had a 16% share in total export volume in 2021.

Türkiye is one of the main actors in the world clothing industry. The Turkish clothing industry with a share of 3.7% is the 6th largest supplier in the world, and the 3rd largest supplier of the EU. It has a share of 4,1% in world knitted clothing exports and it ranks 6th among the exporting countries. With a share of 3,3%, Türkiye ranks 7th among the woven clothing exporters in the world. The Turkish textile industry, which is listed 7th largest exporter in the world and is the 3th largest supplier to the EU.

In 41 years from 1980 to 2021, the production and export of the industry shifted from low value added commodities to high value added manufactured items and fashionable goods. With its qualified and educated human resources, design capacity, accumulation of know- how, investment in technology, dynamic and flexible production capacity, advanced sub industry in clothing sector, concern about quality, health and environment; the Turkish textile and clothing industry has a significant role in world trade with the capability to meet high standards, and can compete in international markets in terms of high quality and a wide range of products.

Istanbul: City of Fashion

Istanbul is proud of its designers, fashion and shopping centers where it has kept its unique Occidental-Oriental, old-meets-new, and East-meets-West characteristics. Istanbul is becoming a leading fashion and shopping center due to both foreign and local investments recently. The world’s largest shopping centers are opening in Istanbul. Many tourists have added Istanbul to their itinerary for shopping. As a global sourcing hub for both Asia and Europe, Istanbul attracts a number of international buying offices, trading houses, major retailers and department stores. Istanbul Fashion Week is organized twice a year to gain recognition for Turkish designers and brands in national and international tribunes where they present their latest collections. Since Istanbul is becoming a fashion and shopping center, most of the companies have shifted their production facilities to the inner provinces.

Izmir, Bursa, Ankara, Denizli, Gaziantep, Kayseri, Tekirdag, Adiyaman, Kahramanmaras and Adana are now major cities for textile and clothing production.


Turkish clothing exports have continued to increase even after the expiration of the global textile quota system at the end 2004, as agreed under the World Trade Organization Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC). The sector continues to maintain and enhance its competitiveness.

In 2021 the total value of clothing exports was US$ 18.3 billion. Approximately 80% of the clothing exported is cotton clothing. Knitted clothing and accessories, with an export value of US$ 10.78 billion, had a share of 58.93% in total clothing exports, and woven clothing had a share of 41,07% with a value of US $ 7.51 billion in 2021.

T-shirts and pullovers are the most important export products in knitted clothing sector. Exports of t-shirts and pullovers were US$ 2.7 billion and US$ 2.61 billion respectively in 2021. In addition, as the second largest manufacturer in the world, Türkiye’s hosiery exports amounted US$ 1.3 billion in 2021.

Knitted or Crocheted Clothing Exports of Türkiye (1.000 USD)

Knitted or Crocheted Clothing Exports of TurkeySource: Ministry of Trade, Turkey

“Women’s or girls’ suits, ensembles, jackets, blazers, dresses, skirts, divided skirts, trousers, etc.” and “Men’s or boys’ suits, ensembles, jackets, blazers, trousers, bib and brace overalls, breeches, etc.” are the most important export products in woven clothing sector. In 2021 exports of “Women’s or girls’ suits, ensembles, jackets, blazers, dresses, skirts, divided skirts, trousers, etc.” and “Men’s or boys’ suits, ensembles, jackets, blazers, trousers, bib and brace overalls, breeches, etc.” were USD 3.42 billion and US$ 1.62 billion, respectively.

Woven Clothing Exports of Türkiye (1.000 USD)

Woven Clothing Exports of TurkeySource: Ministry of Trade, Turkey

EU is the most important market for Türkiye’s clothing exports. In 2021 Türkiye exported clothing of USD 11,84 billion to the EU, which was equivalent to 70,5% of Türkiye’s total clothing exports. Main markets among the members of EU were Germany, Spain, UK and the Netherlands. Clothing exports to these countries were USD 7,77 billion, which was more than half of Türkiye’s clothing exports to the EU.

Türkiye’s Clothing Exports by Countries (USD)

Turkey Clothing Exports by Countries

Source: Ministry of Trade

With its fashion-oriented and quality products, Türkiye has been increasing her share in the main markets, especially in the European market which has high standards and sophisticated customer needs. In 2021, Turkish companies exported to 200 countries in the world.

Trade Fairs in Turkey

Many Turkish clothing companies have expanded their marketing and distribution channels in global markets by opening stores and chain stores all over the world. To increase awareness of Turkish fashion in international markets, they participate in many fashion shows and international fairs on abroad. In addition, the Turkish clothing products are exhibited in international and national fairs organized in Türkiye.

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