By Durmus Genc
MUGLA, Turkey (AA) - Turkey's Aegean resort city of Mugla exported marble and natural stone worth $300 million to 60 countries in 2017, chairman of Marble Association of Mugla said on Wednesday.
"Mugla has around 120 marble quarries, around 140 factories and nearly 10,000 employees," Mustafa Ercan told Anadolu Agency.
He said the export of the city's marble and natural stone -- granite, limestone, onyx and travertine -- rose by 23 percent year-on-year in 2017.
Mugla's exports made 20 percent of Turkey's overall marble and natural stone exports -- $2.1 billion -- in 2017, he underlined.
"We plan to raise our marble and naturel stone exports 25-30 percent every year," he said.
Marble is the second important sector for Mugla after tourism, he highlighted.
He noted the exports were made mostly to Middle East, Europe, the U.S., China and India.
Mugla, where especially white marble is processed, is the second white marble producer in the world after Italia's province Carrara.
"In the scope of studies with the Mugla Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MUTSO), we continue to work to get a geographical indication for 'Mugla White Marble'," he stated.
Mugla White Marble is the city's unique marble, which is also known as 'White Ibiza' or 'Blanco Ibiza'.
"Mugla White Marble became a worldwide brand," Bulent Karakus, head of the MUTSO, said.
* This story contributed by Gokhan Ergocun