Turkey - Country Commercial Guide
Smart City Technology Equipment
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Türkiye is swiftly embracing the era of smart city technologies, marking significant progress in recent years. Numerous municipalities have been leveraging advanced technologies to streamline operations, promote sustainability, and improve overall efficiency in sectors ranging from transportation to public safety to communication technologies.

While Türkiye is making significant strides in implementing smart city technologies, the market lags the U.S. and many European cities in terms of smart city project volume and scope. Among the opportunities for U.S. companies is Türkiye’s need for extensive infrastructure development as well as upgrades to support the integration of digital systems. Retrofitting existing urban environments with smart solutions can be complex and expensive, requiring careful planning and coordination. Limited funding, a deficit of qualified human resources, and a lack of geographical information systems (GIS) infrastructure are ongoing obstacles to investment. However, several international finance institutions have funding programs available for Türkiye’s further development of sustainable smart city solutions.

Accessing services through electronic channels and e-government is the most popular application among municipalities that have begun to modernize their infrastructure, however there is a shortage of smart applications in the fields of energy and water management. Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and GIS applications, particularly by electric utilities, gas authorities, water, and sewage administrations, are needed in major Turkish cities. To facilitate the development of smart cities in Türkiye, the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization established a Smart Cities and Geospatial Technologies Department under the Directorate General of Geospatial Informatics, Planning and Coordination, Application and Development. This department has developed a National Smart City Strategy and Action Plan 2019-2022 and leads all national smart city applications, such as city information system software and 3D data modeling development software it hopes will ultimately be adopted by all municipalities and central government organizations.

Leading Sub-Sectors

Smart Energy

Smart grid systems deployment has begun in Türkiye, and the stages of implementation vary from one electric distribution company (DISCO) to another. Most have deployed SCADA and GIS systems. DISCOs utilize smart grid deployment to decrease losses while increasing reliability and quality. The Türkiye Smart Grid Vision and Strategy Roadmap established several targets for full smart grid system implementation in Türkiye. Several DISCOs implemented pilot projects using new methods of storing various types of energy. Although implementation of smart grid systems continues, deployment of smart meters is taking time due to its cost. Smart meters are deployed in sub-station level.

Smart Mobility

Many Turkish cities are in the early stages of installing intelligent transportation systems (ITS). The Ministry of Transport & Infrastructure stated in its 2013-2023 Action Plan that all cities will implement smart traffic light systems according to traffic density; green wave systems where cars, after encountering one red light, pass through subsequent green lights when maintaining a specific speed; digital traffic signs; and solar powered bus stops with digital arrival time boards. In addition, developing applications that centralize the management of user transportation services, support electronic payment systems, public transportation, fleet management and multimodal transportation systems, and giving priority to ITS applications to increase traffic safety are some of the smart mobility priorities written in the 2053 Transport and Logistics Master Plan of the Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure. 

All smart transportation projects are now planned and implemented by local municipalities. Since there is no central ITS institution, it is not currently possible to obtain the total amount of spending or planned spending for all projects in Türkiye.

Recently implemented projects include smart bus stops, online traffic density mapping, and an online tracking system for fire department vehicles in Ankara; a state-of-the-art traffic management system (including smart intersections and fully automated parking systems) in Izmir; and e-payment cards for nearly all modes of transportation, including ferries, busses, trains, and metros in major Turkish cities. Other cities have shared bicycle systems. Some cities including Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Adana, Mersin, Antalya, Bursa, and Eskisehir have shared e-scooter systems. ITS systems are utilized partially in Eskisehir, Konya, Mardin, Kahramanmaras, Gaziantep, Sakarya, Yalova, Kars, Edirne, and Manisa. In addition, Izmir, Ankara, and Istanbul have agreements with a private company providing ‘Minute Car Rental Service.’

In early 2020, Gaziantep completed an ITS system called “Bluetooth Technology” to predict and analyze neighborhood-based arrival times by sharing messages and signs with drivers. Other ITS projects in Gaziantep include smart parking systems, passenger information applications, and plate recognition systems.

Smart Infrastructure

Türkiye’s accession process to the European Union, although at an impasse in the last decade, has spurred large-scale environmental remediation and the implementation of new environmental standards. Local municipalities play an important role in recycling, water purification, waste-sewage treatment, environmental remediation, and solid waste management.

Preventing water loss is a priority for Turkish municipalities. The water authorities of some large and industrialized cities have implemented SCADA systems to identify water losses and network failures. However, this system needs to be expanded to less developed regions of Türkiye as well.

Türkiye is mostly in line with European legislation with respect to waste management and recycling, however it lacks source separation recycling. Further alignment with EU standards could create an environmental infrastructure and technologies market worth nearly $96 billion. Such alignment could be complete by 2024. Although there are recycling facilities, further development of regional solid waste processing, recycling facilities, and sanitary landfills is needed. The GoT also plans to remediate and upgrade existing unsanitary landfills. Government buildings including public schools and hospitals are expected to switch to source separation recycling. In the coming years, the government intends to begin plastic waste collection by incentivizing the public with deposit payback. Some of the larger municipalities like Istanbul will soon start pilot plastic bottle deposit system projects and a nation-wide system is on its way. Several Turkish cities are implementing waste-to-energy projects.

Türkiye, with a robust plastic manufacturing industry in need of raw materials, became a major plastic waste importer after China stopped buying. Regulations for such imports change often due to political headwinds concerning the improper disposal of imported plastic waste by bad actors. Greenpeace Türkiye and similar NGOs campaigning to stop plastic waste imports were successful in pressuring the government to put new restrictions on plastic waste in place. Plastic recycling companies can now import only 50% of their raw material to encourage the use of local plastic waste. Türkiye also recently banned the importation of ethylene polymer type plastic waste as well as mixed plastic waste. The plastic industry is pressuring the government to change the regulations to maintain the Turkish plastic industry’s competitiveness. Despite restrictions, the recycling market still needs foreign expertise and technologies used by U.S. companies. Sector contacts indicate that U.S. companies with expertise in circular economy and advanced recycling technology have opportunity in the Turkish market.

Türkiye has made great strides in improving the monitoring of air quality and has instituted a national air pollution monitoring program. The main sources of ambient air pollution in Türkiye are thermal energy generation through coal-fired power plants, home heating units, motor vehicles, and industrial sources. The government is requiring the installation of flue-gas desulfurization units on all new and existing power plants, opening high-value projects in the air pollution control market.


In 2016 and 2018, the World Bank approved loans of $133 million and $91.5 million, respectively, for the Sustainable Cities I and II Projects in Türkiye. This program aims to improve the economic, financial, environmental, and social sustainability of Turkish cities by enabling municipalities to access financing for their investments in improving services to their citizens. In May 2019, when all prior funds had been committed, an additional $560 million was approved to scale up projects in the program. The funds are assisting cities by financing investments in infrastructure needed to meet service delivery requirements in the water and wastewater systems, public transport, waste management, and energy services and other areas.

In 2023, Bursa became the fifth-largest Turkish city after Izmir, Ankara, Istanbul, and Gaziantep to join the EBRD Green Cities Program, which identifies, prioritizes, and connects cities’ environmental challenges with sustainable infrastructure investments and policy measures. As a first step, these cities and the EBRD started developing a Green Cities Action Plan to assess, prioritize, and address the main environmental challenges through policy reforms and investments by devising a step-by-step plan to climate-proof essential services. The EBRD and all five cities are working together to identify investment opportunities in green infrastructure priority areas including urban regeneration, solid waste management, water and wastewater, urban roads and lighting, urban transport, public building energy efficiency, renewable energy, and power infrastructure energy efficiency. In support of developing greener, more sustainable cities, the EBRD is providing financial support for the construction of a new 14 km metro line connecting the east and west of İstanbul; a solar energy project in Gaziantep; the Dikimevi-Natoyolu Rail System Extension Line in Ankara; and the construction of İzmir’s new metro lines including 85 new vehicles and five new car ferries.

In 2020, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) launched the U.S.–Türkiye Next Generation Cities Initiative to support the development of smart cities across Türkiye. The Initiative streamlines access for Turkish partners to the most innovative smart cities solutions U.S. companies offer and will be executed in cooperation with the U.S. Commercial Service. Under this initiative, the USTDA awarded five grants in support of smart city development to Türkiye’s Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change: the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, and the Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality. USTDA is still accepting proposals of smart city, IT, and 5G-related projects. U.S. companies are encouraged to contact USTDA or the CS Türkiye for more information.

EXIM Bank also supports U.S. exports to Türkiye and has several programs to support sustainable and green technologies. EXIM Bank is authorized to establish a new “Program on China and Transformational Exports.” The Program’s purpose is to support the extension of loans, guarantees, and insurance in line with the rates, terms, and conditions established by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) or by other covered countries. The program charges EXIM Bank with a goal of reserving not less than 20% of the agency’s total financing authority (i.e., $27 billion out of a total of $135 billion) to advance the United States’ ability to compete against the PRC in the following industries:

· Artificial intelligence

· Biotechnology

· Biomedical sciences

· Wireless communications equipment (including 5G or subsequent wireless technologies)

· Quantum computing

· Renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy storage

· Semiconductor and semiconductor machinery manufacturing

· Emerging financial technologies (including technologies that facilitate financial inclusion through increased access to capital and financial services; data security and privacy; payments, the transfer of funds, and associated messaging services; and efforts to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism)

· Water treatment and sanitation (including technologies and infrastructure to reduce contaminants and improve water quality)

· High-performance computing


· World Bank in Turkey - www.worldbank.org/en/country/turkey

· European Development Bank of Reconstruction (EBRD) - https://www.ebrd.com/turkey.html

· U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) - https://ustda.gov/

· Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM Bank) - https://www.exim.gov/

· Ministry of Environment and Urbanization - www.csb.gov.tr/

· Environment Protection and Packing Wastes Utilization Foundation: https://www.cevko.org.tr/

· Turkish Green Building Institute – www.cedbik.org

· Turkish Informatics Foundation - www.tbv.org.tr/en


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

Yaprak Cakilcioglu

Sr. Commercial Specialist

Smart City Technologies Leader

U.S. Commercial Service Türkiye