Turkey Embraces the Internet

Although Turkey is often in the news for the wrong reasons about the internet with tales of censroship, filtering and arrests.  There is no doubt  that it is one of the countries which has embraced the web and modern communication in all forms.  In fact there are a huge number of online business running in Turkey which represent one of the biggest sectors.

It’s not surprising that there are so many internet companies in Turkey.  The population is large and on the whole very young – over 50% of Turks are under 30.  Needless to say this young population are heavy users of the internet and social media, in particular on the South Western coastal areas like Kas.  They actually are in the top 10 of Facebook country users which is particularly surprising given that the social networking site has actually been banned for short periods.

There is no such restriction now, with companies like Peak Games producing games which are played by over 35 million people – many of them on Facebook.  Half of their users are in Turkey the rest in nearby countries.  The games in this country are so popular it is even producing a surge in demand for a Turkish proxy used to bypass restrictions in some of the Middle Eastern countries which block such social networking sites – for more info try here..

There seems to be much more potential to come, which is why internet companies are flocking to the country and being started up all around.  Having such a huge potential home market is obviously attractive and there is more potential to come.  The penetration levels are reasonably low with only 44% of Turkish users currently online compared with levels of 80%+ in the majority of European countries for example.  In the Netherlands that figure is now at 88% which hints at the potential growth that may be to come for Turkish internet companies.

There are those who are slightly worried about the huge rise in this sector of the economy.  They think that the economy is unbalanced and leaves the country at risk because of the high reliance in e-commerce.  There is also a worry that the boom is creating relatively unsophisticated companies who are not investing in management skills and investing in themselves.  Internet companies in smaller countries llike Ukraine and Estonia have to extremely efficient to survive without the large domestic market to rely on.  The worry is that these companies end up overtaking the more relaxed Turkish ones.!