The Turkish furniture industry generally has workshop-type, small-scale enterprises that mostly work with traditional methods. On the other hand, especially in recent years, the number of medium and large-scale enterprises, as well as small-scale enterprises, has started to increase. Fabricated production companies are large companies in parallel with their employment level. The number of manufacturing companies is increasing day by day.
Turkish Furniture Industry Regions
The Turkish furniture industry is in certain regions where the market or forest products concentrated. Important furniture production regions according to their share in total production. They are listed as İstanbul, Ankara, Bursa (İnegöl), Kayseri, İzmir, and Adana. The furniture industry in Istanbul scattered in various places. Ankara has always been an important center in furniture production. According to TUIK data, it also comes after Istanbul regarding total employment level and the number of businesses.
The furniture industry in Ankara identified with the Siteler district. . The sites were established in the 1960s under the leadership of the Chamber of Carpenters, and today it is a large organized industrial zone operating on a land of 5,000 decares. The region is home to many small and medium-sized furniture manufacturing businesses. However, these enterprises are labor-intensive enterprises, and the number of large-scale production companies is small.
Bursa-İnegöl Region, which has large forested areas and as a result, the wood industry shows a rapid development, is also a region with high development dynamics. Making good use of the advantage of being close to raw material sources and the commercial activity of being on the historical Silk Road, İnegöl is a furniture center today. Bursa-İnegöl furniture sector comes after Ankara in terms of employment level. However, according to our regions, the distribution of exports in the industry is in the third place after Kayseri and Istanbul. This success of the area in exports shows that Bursa-İnegöl is on the way to become an important international center in furniture.
The rise of the furniture industry in Kayseri started with sofas, armchairs, and beds. With its companies producing in every branch of furniture today, with technological developments and new investments, Kayseri has become an important furniture center of Turkey. According to TOBB data and TUIK export figures, Kayseri hosts the biggest companies in the sector. About 400 of them export-oriented companies that manufacture mass production. According to TUIK data, personnel employed in the region with an employment level of 11.5 persons per firm, which is well above the average of Turkey. The high number of employees per company shows that Kayseri is a region where large-scale companies concentrated. With an export of 355 million dollars in 2012, Kayseri, which made 18.7% of Turkey’s furniture exports alone, is our country’s most important furniture production and export center.
Since 2001, the Turkish furniture industry has started to increase continuously in foreign trade. With the crises experienced in the previous period, the contraction in domestic demand was tried to be overcome by turning to exports by the companies. The process shows that this situation is not a temporary orientation, but has become the choice of our companies. Export is no longer a process entered with great efforts. Yet, it is the most important force behind development.
Firms in the sector make one-third of their exports to the EU. This regional concentration in the industry is positive considering the characteristics of the EU market and consumer. However, it also reveals the need for market diversification regarding the sector’s long-term goals.
As of 2001, the positive process in exports continued. Thus, the tradition of the sector’s foreign trade balance surplus continued. Moreover, the country’s foreign trade, which had a significant deficit, contributed to the country’s economy. Healthier macroeconomic conditions and foreign market experiences have developed. Thus, the furniture sector has a dynamism and potential suitable for larger increases.
The share of the sector in total exports was 2% in 2020. The development of the Turkish furniture industry depends on the growth of furniture exports. Turkey’s furniture exports were 192 million dollars in 2001. Then, in 2020, it increased significantly to reach 3 billion 422 million dollars. In 2020, there were pandemic conditions whose negative effects on trade were felt dramatically. Despite this, furniture exports increased by 12% in 2020 compared to the previous year.