By Burcu Arik
ISTANBUL (AA) - The size of the information and communication technology (ICT) sector in Turkey has increased 18 percent in 2015 from the previous year, amounting to 83 billion Turkish liras ($28 billion), an informatics association said Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters, the head of the Istanbul-based Informatics Industry Association (TUBISAD), Kubra Erman Karaca, said this increase had been achieved in a difficult context as Turkey went through two general elections, macroeconomic problems and a geopolitical crisis.
"The ICT sector has also employed 113,000 people and increased its export to 2.2 billion Turkish liras ($745 million)," said Karaca, adding that the effects of currency fluctuations had influenced the sector negatively though.
The head of the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) Omer Fatih Sayan said the country had gained ground in the ICT sector recently by progressing to advanced fourth-generation (4G) telecom services.
"But we need more technological infrastructure and qualified employees in this sector to boost the trade volume," Sayan added.
Dubbed 4.5G in Turkey, 4G services became operational on April 1.
According to the Turkish Prime Ministry Investment Support and Promotion Agency (ISPAT), Turkey is well aware of the fact that this sector will have a much more influential role in the future than it currently has.
IT spending on hardware, software, IT services and telecommunication services in Turkey are expected to increase to $30 billion by 2017 while increasing the ICT sector’s size to $160 billion, with a market growth of around 15 percent each year until 2023, the agency says.