One of the major sectors in the economy of Turkey is the Leather industry when it comes to the export earnings, production and employment. In the total industrial protection, the share of the sector is at 2.2% while at the total manufacturing labor force, the share is at 1.5% and it is 1.6% on the total export earnings of Turkey. It is the 10th when it comes to the biggest industrial sector of the country.
History of Turkish Leather Industry
Leather’s history is just as old as the history of human evolution. The first men who learned how to hunt also have learned how the skin is used.
When Istanbul was conquered by the Turks in 1453, the Sultan’s residence had a lot of good water that made it suitable to tan leather. This is why when Istanbul had been conquered, Ottoman Emperor Fatih Sultan Mehmet had chosen this zone and reserved it for the industry of leather.
Kazliceme was the first industrial zone for leather and it’s just outside of the Topkapi city walls. It had been established and had continued on for around 500 years.
When the Russian market grew, so did the sector for the Turkish leather and they transferred the earnings from it to investments. That’s why in the 90’s this sector had increased the productivity and its capacity when it entered the Russian market.
It had reached a nice position in the world market because of the Turkish leather products’ strong infrastructure, high quality and nice product variety.
Turkey Leather Sector Today
In the world, Turkey is one of its primary and important producers of garment made from leather. New technologies and advanced knowledge helped this industry to produce high quality leather goods. This has led the way to new developments of quality raw materials that helped in positively affecting its production as well as exportation.
The sheep leather of Turkey finishes just 22% of the world leather but it actually is capable of finishing 75% of that. In the meantime, production of Turkey’s leather clothing is of very good quality and it exports 95% of the total production. The leather industry of Turkey’s finished goods is used for net export while this industry is the net importer for its raw materials.
In the future, Turkey is also at the forefront of becoming one of the top fur producers in the world. The skins and raw hides as well as finished leather has 67% share in the total leather import of Turkey.