The word "Turk" has been in use since the sixth century. The word "Türkiye" means "the Homeland of the Turks." "The Homeland of the Turks" has been referred to as Turkye, Torke, Turkie, Turkye, Turkia, Turkie and Turkiyye in many different languages and forms by various tribes and states. Only English-speaking countries and communities call the country "Turkey." Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) Chairman İsmail Gülle pointed out that the homeland of the Turks was known by the world's best-known merchant societies as "Türkiye" and that the region where Turks manufacture and export on a global scale is Turkey; hence, one of the most important locations for tradable products and exports is Turkey. As a result, from now on, all products produced in Turkey will be stamped as "Made in Türkiye." Following President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's called for increased domestic production and the unveiling of the domestically produced, national automobile project TOGG, TİM and the Presidential Investment Office have excelled in conducting comprehensive studies on Turkey as a center for manufacturing, investment and exports in the global arena.
While TİM has officially begun using the "Made in Türkiye" logo on all its official correspondence, the Presidential Investment Office has shown its support for the movement by changing its motto to "Invest in Türkiye" on its official correspondence and its official website. Both institutions, interpreting Erdoğan's words as an encouragement, quickly took the first steps. In this context, in light of the efforts that were launched under the TİM and the Turkey Promotion Group (TTG), "Made in Türkiye" will be widely used on items such as the labels and packages of products exported from Turkey, and at fairs and expos by exporters to promote production in Turkey. Thus, products clearly marked as Turkish made will be present in all areas of global trade. This development also means that the efforts conducted for Turkey’s promotion using the "Turkey, Discover the Potential" motto will also be ending. Besides, in the first meeting where the slogan was presented, Erdoğan pointed out that Turkey has already exceeded expectations with a gross domestic product (GDP) surpassing $800 billion and exports reaching almost $200 billion but also stated that Turkey's power could be explored further.
This requires that Turkey, as a quarterback of Eurasia and an indispensable actor in the global political economy, appear before the world with a new motto, new message and fresh slogan. It is crucial that the new motto focus on production in Turkey. We are transforming Turkey from its state in the Cold War era into a new Turkey, the rising power of the 21st century. The countdown has begun for this historical and giant transformation. Coronavirus and Turkey’s supply skills The coronavirus, which has become a topic of global debate and has been high up on the agenda, is still a priority in China, where 61 million people are fully or partially quarantined. The crisis has seen the number of patients who died or suffer from the virus continue to increase, while the number of cases and deaths are also on the rise in areas outside China. This had led to the cancellation of many international flights to China until the end of February as well as the postponement of 14 international fairs scheduled to take place in China in February and March. Hubei province, which is at the center of the epidemic, along with its capital Wuhan, averaged exports worth $32 billion before the crisis. It had a 1.3% share in China’s total exports. Although China's total exports showed a limited decline in 2019, the province's exports had increased by 8.7%. The state also increased its imports of $20 billion by 17%. For this reason, countries that export to the quarantined region are also losing money. Hubei province may not have a significant share in China's exports; however, it realizes 16.2% of China's automotive production, 13.5% of its processed food production, 7.2% of its chemical and non-metal minerals production, and 5% of the country's textile, iron, steel, information and telecommunications devices, and electronic devices production. This also includes special-purpose masks.
Therefore, a quarantine that will bring production to almost a standstill in the province will naturally affect China's national income. As a matter of fact, China has decided to revise its 2020 GDP growth rate target. This, starting with South Korea and Hong Kong who will be experiencing a loss of 0.05% to 0.35% in their national incomes in 2020 due to the virus outbreak in China, allows Turkey to stand out by being the only country that will see a 0.05% increase. With the strong possibility that the virus outbreak will continue to cause issues, Turkey is the only country providing unbeatable quality and price balance for many products. In addition to this, Turkey can assume a position to meet the needs of China on this difficult day. We should add to this the fact that Turkey was the first country to send free medical aid as a symbol of friendship between the two countries. The bird flu, which coincided with the coronavirus crisis, led to the killing of tens of thousands of poultry in China. This situation may encourage Turkish exporters of poultry products to export to South Korea, which has met its demand through imports from China. Turkey also stands out as the most critical manufacturer and supplier country to meet the world’s import demand in garments and textiles, automotive parts, machinery and building materials. We are going through days where it will again be engraved in the memory of the leading countries of global trade that Turkey is one of the most critical producers and export centers in the world.
About the author
Kerem Alkin is an economist, professor at Istanbul Medipol University. He currently serves as the Turkish Permanent Representative to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).