Turkey’s information and communication technologies (ICT) sector has become an essential part of the economy with exports surpassing USD 1 billion to the EU, MENA, Asian, and North American regions. Turkey’s primary export destination, the EU, receives over 75 percent of Turkey’s IT and CT exports in software, hardware, equipment, and services.
With an estimate of USD 16 billion worth of international investments attracted since the early 2000s, Turkey’s employment in the sector has surpassed 139,000. Today, over 20 percent of employment in the ICT sector is R&D personnel, and nearly 70 percent of those employed in the sector are younger than 35.
Turkey’s talent pool is further supported by an increasing number of university graduates in engineering and ICT fields. In 2018 alone, the number of graduates in the specified fields passed 52,000. The availability of a qualified workforce and modest labor costs continue to make Turkey a competitive country in the region.
As the ICT sector is considered a priority sector by the Turkish government, various initiatives have been taken to promote investments in the area. The greatest indicator of these efforts is the R&D Law, first introduced in 2008 and then revised in 2016, entailing the government’s support areas in R&D and introducing an incentives package. The incentives package includes corporate tax exemptions, VAT exemptions, social security premium support, and more.