Turkey - Country Commercial Guide
Market Challenges

Learn about barriers to market entry and local requirements, i.e., things to be aware of when entering the market for this country.

Last published date: 2020-10-07

Turkey offers a promising but often complex and challenging market, requiring adaptability, persistence and patience. U.S. exporters may face many of the same challenges that exist in other semi-developed markets, such as instances of inconsistent or contradictory policies, regulations and documentation requirements; tariff increases on a wide range of products; localization requirements in various industries; lack of transparency in tenders, as well as difficulties with the public procurement process, including price preference for Turkish companies and burdensome documentation; and a time-consuming, unpredictable judicial, legal and regulatory framework. Furthermore, Turkey has been experiencing an economic downturn since 2018, exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. Companies may find weakened demand throughout 2020 and into 2021.  Burdensome debt levels (much of which is denominated in dollars and euros), a weakening Turkish lira, and volatile unemployment all weigh heavily on foreign or domestic firms’ ability to sustain, much less grow, its operations in country.  Furthermore, Turkey is running current account and capital account deficits, and the central bank’s 8.25 percent interest rate is lower than inflation, resulting in a lira that is under constant pressure to devalue. Much of the private sector borrowing in Turkey has been via foreign exchange-denominated loans, which become harder to service if the lira’s value drops. The most effective method to address these obstacles is to work with a Turkish partner to obtain local insights and determine potential solutions. Careful planning and patience are the keys to success in Turkey. While success can never be guaranteed, CS Turkey is here to help U.S. business navigate the Turkish business environment.