Landscape of the European Chemical Industry 2017

Landscape of the European Chemical Industry 2017



Number of companies


Direct employees


National contact

Turkish Chemical Manufacturers Association (TKSD)

Timur Erk



Chemical industry snapshot

Contributing to economic growth

The Turkish chemical has rapidly increased production and exports in the past five years, and has become integrated into national supply chain, notably of the textile and automotive industries. Total production in 2015 was approximately 140 million tonnes, 90% from the private sector.

Meeting customer needs

Products range from petrochemicals, thermoplastics, fertilizers, organic and inorganic chemicals, pharmaceuticals, synthetic fibres and yarns, to detergents, paints and soap.

A major employer

Turkey’s 23,000 chemical enterprises together employ about 292,000 people. The industry has made big progress in terms of quality, productivity and environmental protection. It has adopted EU technical standards and implemented Responsible Care, the chemical industry’s trademark voluntary initiative on environmental, health and safety standards.


Companies have also implemented Turkey’s CLP (Classification, Labelling and Packaging) law.


Petrochemicals has grown strongly since 1970. One petrochemical complex, the SOCAR-Petkim Aliaga, located in İzmir, produces a wide range of petrochemicals including all common plastics (HDPE, LDPE, PS, PVC, and PP), aromatics, ethylene glycol, phthalic anhydride, terephthalic acid, carbon black, synthetic rubber, acrylonitrile and caustic soda. With the addition of new Ethylene Unit, the gross petrochemicals output is about 3,6 million tonnes/year – about 25% of domestic demand.


Synthetic fibres: To serve Turkey’s big textile sector, polymer production and production of textile chemicals have developed simultaneously. Large polyamide, polyester, acrylic fibres and recently carbon fibre plants have been built, serving both foreign and domestic markets. Synthetic fibre production is around 800,000 tonnes/year.


Plastics: With 8.1 million ton finished goods production capacity, the plastics sector provides about 13 billion dollars added value to the Turkish economy. Due to lack of sufficient domestic raw materials supply, the sector is highly dependent on petrochemical raw materials imports.


Fertilizers: To support Turkey’s large agricultural industry about 3.6 million tonnes/year of fertilizer is produced, supplemented by 2.9 million tonnes/year of imports.


Pharmaceuticals: Accounting for about 10% of chemical industry’s output, the industry focuses upon generics for the domestic market. One exception is the production of alkaloids: Turkey produces 20% of the world’s morphine demand.


Soap, detergents and cosmetics: Output has grown substantially with the presence of multinationals, for both the fast-growing domestic market amid strong demand for personal care products and for exports. Soap production capacity has reached 550,000 tonnes.


Paints and coatings: growth has tracked the expansion of Turkey’s construction, automotive and marine industries. Today about 600 manufacturers produce 850,000 tonnes/year of paints and coatings, including for exports.


Soda: Turkey has the largest synthetic soda factory in the Middle East, with currently increased capacity of about 2 million tonnes per year where . In addition to light and dense soda ash, refined sodium bicarbonate and sodium silicate are produced at the Mersin plant. An extremely rich trona (natural soda ash) deposit was found at Beypazari, near Ankara with about 1 million tonnes/year target production. Turkey has substantial export potential for soda ash.


Chrome chemicals: One of the top five chrome ore miners, Turkey produces and exports chrome chemicals and derivatives such as sodium bichromate, basic chrome sulphate, chromic acid and chrome oxide.


Boron chemicalsThanks to large high-quality reserves, Turkey produces borax decahydrate, borax pentahydrate, boric acid and sodium perborate A major R/D effort is spent on high added- value boron derivatives.


Sodium sulphate: Turkey is second-largest producer in Europe and sixth in the world.


Medicinal and aromatic plants: Turkey is a leading exporter of rose oil and also produces laurel, thymus, lavender and origanum oil.

How are we doing?


  • Outstanding location for world markets on oil and gas pipeline routes
  • Young labour pool
  • Meeting international and EU industry standards
  • Entrepreneurial capacity, dynamic SMEs and Organised Industry Zones
  • Developed and diverse industry and infrastructure


  • Relatively low R&D spending
  • Reliance upon high-cost imported energy and raw materials
  • Limited capacity in high-added-value products
  • Inefficiencies in clustering between chemical sectors
  • Trade limitations arising from geopolitical uncertainties in neighbouring countries

Our contribution to a competitive Europe

Government incentives are available for new chemical investments, to help achieve the goal of reaching US$50 billion of chemicals exports by 2023.


Land allocation and investment credit support is available to help development of integrated chemical industry clusters and to encourage and sustain innovation.