THE E-TRANSFORMATION

Turkey 2011 | TELECOMS & IT | FOCUS: SOFTWARE TECHNOLOGY

With its young and dynamic population, Turkey is quickly learning to utilize e-solutions and is undergoing a transformation into a developer and exporter of software.

In line with global trends in the development of the worldwide software industry, Turkey's own software market reached a value of $9 billion in 2009, constituting 20% of the total IT market, with a growth rate of 10% expected in 2010 according to the Export Promotion Agency of Turkey (IGEME). The Turkish software market has proved itself on a global scale with successful e-applications in government, health, education, defense, commerce, telecommunications, HR, technical infrastructure, information security, and legal infrastructure.

The sector directed its exports to almost 70 countries in 2009, with Germany, the US, and the UAE being the sector's top export partners. Currently around 35 large companies operate in the software development market, with companies such as Milsoft Yazılım Teknolojileri, Havelsan, Ayesaş, Meteksan, KoçSistem, and Cybersoft operating with international accreditation.

The sector has seen increased activity due to a demand from the banking, tourism, transport, logistics, and manufacturing sectors of late, with companies such as Arskom Group rising to meet the demand with state-of-the-art fleet tracking and communications software, Bülent Arslan, the group's CEO, told TBY. The state has also been a driver of innovation with the Ministry of Transport and Communications outlining its plans to develop e-government and increase the number of services provided on a common portal.

E-commerce is also a burgeoning sector, with technologies emerging to facilitate easier shopping and payment. Mete Güney, General Manager of MasterCard in Turkey, told TBY that one of the reasons for the growth of technology in the retail banking and commercial areas is that “the average age [in Turkey] is around 27-28 years, and 60% of the population is aged below 30… adoption rates for new products in Turkey are very high". In terms of internet shopping, Cenk Angın of GittiGidiyor, a partner of eBay, told TBY that total expenditure realized through virtual processes grew by half in 2010 to reach TL15 billion, with $1.5 billion being spent on commodities alone, and the rest taken up by services, transportation, and hotels.

In terms of growth potential, Turkey only has 24 million active internet users out of a total population of 73 million, and with this number expected to rise to between 35 million and 45 million in the near future it is likely that the value of trade carried out online will increase. Currently, Doğan Holding's retail portal Hepsiburada.com is one of Turkey's top internet properties. Other major online portals include Groupon, GittiGidiyor (in partnership with eBay), Sahibinden, a real estate and second hand goods brokerage site, Biletix, the largest seller of tickets in Turkey and the Turkish branch of Ticketmaster, and Yemeksepeti, an online take-away solution site with approximately 2,452 listed restaurants in Istanbul alone.