Furniture Industry in Turkey & Exports
Furniture production in Turkey dates back to the 19th century and was done in small workshops as artisan production.
However, by the rapid globalization and all other aspects, present furniture industry is becoming a fashion sector.
In Turkey, furniture is produced both in workshops and industrial¬scale manufacturing units. Furniture production is highly fragmented among a large number of small workshops. These small workshops play an important role in producing hand carved and handmade furniture. Workshops are flexible establishments in nature and have enough capacity and labour force to expand their production line in order to supply large orders.
Large¬scale furniture firms on the other hand produce standard models by using automated mass¬production techniques and most of their production is oriented towards export.
Based on data provided by Turkish Statistical Institute (TSI), in 2008 furniture production was realized as 6.2 billion Turkish Liras.
According to the recent General Census of Industry and Business Establishments (2002), the furniture sector employs 92,567 people and the industry has 29,346 companies manufacturing various furniture.
Besides, six furniture companies were included in the list for “the top 500 industrial establishments of Turkey” published by Istanbul Chamber of Industry. These six companies were; Merkez Çelik San. ve Tic. A.Ş, Boytaş Mobilya San. ve Tic. A.Ş, Merinos Halı Sanayi ve Tic. A.Ş, İstikbal Mobilya San. ve Tic. A.Ş, Grammer Koltuk Sistemleri Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş and Yataş Yatak ve Yorgan San. Tic. A.Ş.
Furniture production in Turkey is concentrated mainly in Istanbul, Ankara, Bursa (İnegöl), Kayseri, Izmir and Adana. The most important furniture production districts are located İstanbul and the region of Bolu¬Düzce, which is famous for production of wooden items. “Siteler”, another well¬known furniture¬manufacturing district is located in Ankara. The number of registered small and medium sized enterprises in “Siteler” is over 10,000. In Ankara, there are many labour–intensive small enterprises manufacturing classic¬ handmade furniture and there are about 10 major furniture manufacturers who have mass¬ production capabilities. The wood industry is developing rapidly in the Bursa¬Inegöl area, the third most important furniture production region, which is surrounded by forest areas. The furniture industry of the İnegöl area is small sized but has great potential to improve itself. Another important furniture region is Kayseri, which has large capacity for the production of sofa beds, couch beds and seven of the twenty two largest manufacturers of Turkey are established here. Izmir also has a furniture production districts called “Karabağlar and Kısıkköy” which supply furniture to the Aegean Region.
Production In Turkey
Furniture production can be classified in accordance with materials used as wooden furniture (massive and veneered), metal furniture and others. Wooden furniture has a major share in total furniture production. As it is known for good quality furniture, the types of wood used and plywood inputs have to be taken into consideration. The main types of wood used in the manufacture of massive furniture in Turkey are ash, beech, oak, pine, linden and mahogany. In veneered furniture, oak, beech, walnut and mahogany are used.
Turkish furniture factories use the latest technologies in producing furniture, which is always up to world standards. Since 1990 the application of advanced technology and the use of CNC benches in the Turkish furniture industry have been increasing. Today, all of the large enterprises in the furniture sector use CNC benches.
Most companies are equipped with modern machinery which allows the production of good, export¬quality products. Quality control starts from the stage when the raw material is produced and continues till the end of the packaging process. Most of the companies have already obtained ISO 9000 certificates and other required quality certificates. The large scale firms comply with world standards in their packaging processes. In packaging PE, PP, foam, poly¬urethane and cardboard boxes are used. Many of the large companies have special packaging sections.
As with many other consumer products, furniture production is sensitive to changes in fashion. Since furniture design is an important aspect of marketing, Turkish designers are constantly following consumer preferences in foreign markets and introduce new designs and make model variations and improvements.
Turkish furniture manufacturers and exporters are aware of the fact that market trends and consumer behavior play an important role in the development and design of new products. Since Turkey has a strong textile industry, Turkish furniture manufacturers have the advantage of being able to use and to monitor a wide range of colorful new fabric collections as upholstery.
Turkey’s furniture exports have had an upward trend in recent years. This is mainly due to improvements in capacity, quality and design. Exports of Turkish furniture reached to US $ 1.33 billion in 2008, but decreased to US $ 1.15 billion in 2009 by the effect of global financial crisis, representing a decrease of 13 % with respect to the previous year.
Main export products were: wooden bedroom furniture and dining room and living room furniture, seats convertible into beds, seats for motor vehicles. In 2008, Turkey ranked third in the world exports of seats convertible into beds which also traditional items are showing the large family, hospitality and past nomadic characteristics of our nation.
In 2009, Turkey exported furniture to 166 countries throughout the world. The main markets for furniture exports were Iraq, Germany, Iran, Azerbaijan, France, Netherlands, Greece and the United Kingdom. In recent years, Turkish furniture companies have been establishing showrooms and depots in increasing numbers in most of these countries. The Turkish contracting sector is one of the major sectors exporting services. Turkish contractor companies who have undertaken construction work abroad have completed many housing complexes, tourism projects, hospitals and health center projects, most of which were decorated with Turkish furniture. Turkish furniture is designed and made from the highest quality materials to ensure comfort, performance and attractive appearance for a very long life. Different styles are produced such as classical, traditional and contemporary. With its designers and architects combined with its flexible production capacity, the Turkish furniture industry is able to satisfy the requirements of all individual markets all over the world. Today, with all these aspects of the furniture industry, Turkey is among the most promising furniture suppliers in the world
by Ahmet KÜÇÜKASLAN