Internet in Turkey and its Future

One of the cores and hot topics in my agenda is internet and internet technologies. Global management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group regularly publishes its research findings and future predictions re internet. Maybe the most recent one is the one they have jointly published with Google (A global internet company, A tech giant, A tech-crunch company….ehu ehu heee huuu heee. Yes, it is the Google as we know:) no need to provide more info. Immediately after each champions league draw, Turkish Channel Star TV starts defining and describing the team with providing info pertinent to its best players, most successful year in the history of the champions league etc. etc. Last year Galatasaray drew Real Madrid and the channel did not do its usual introduction as to the team. Google is the RM of its area.)

I need to go from general to specific. Hence, let me say. Internet is a network where people read, share, download, create pages etc.internet becomes so popular in the recent years and will be much more soon.

The study carried out on an executive level describes and quantifies:

* Turkey’s large, fast growing economy is increasingly influenced by the service sector and internet is becoming more crucial day by day.

* The internet contributed and estimated 22 B TL, or 1.7 % of GDP, to the Turkish economy in 2011. It is estimated that by the year 2017 this percentage will rise to 2.6 % of the total GDP (Still more needed for it be a real game changer but it will be in the long-run).

Turkey is, in terms of population, quite young and hence embraced the internet. The penetration is 45%-50% but less than 1% of retail buying occurs online. Moreover, of total annual Turkish advertising spending, 13.8 % is online.

The research basically measure internet usage in Turkey and defined a new term for it: Internet intensity. There are three main dimensions to measure it.

Enablement: Internet infrastructure and access around the country. (%50)

Expenditure: Money consumers spent online + money spent for online advertising. (%25)

Engagement: How much stakeholders (government, business and consumers) embrace the internet. (%25)

Based on these three, Turkey is doing well when compared to overall but is behind the EU27 and OECD countries. Plus, among the three Turkey is best in the enablement criterion and private shopping drove the Turkish internet economy for the recent years.

Turkish SMEs which account for 78 of the jobs in market lack support and skills (qualified human resource ) to fully utilize internet. Government regulations restricting the access is also affecting to the utilization of the internet negatively.

To become more competitive, Turkey needs to:

* Move from import-based economy to R&D invested economy (Key to decrease current account deficit)

* Be knowledge based society.

* Provide equal opportunity for everyone to have access to the internet, particularly develop the eastern side of the country.

* Increase digital, PC and Technology literacy.

* Develop the infrastructure and build confidence for the security of the web and its applications.

and may be more importantly mover with collective mentality since this is the most lacked among Turkish people.

I am quite optimistic as to the future of the internet in Turkey as the public, in its DNA, for any new technology wait long and then have the belonging for it forever. The latter stage has already started.

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