Clothing and textiles is among the largest and best-performing sectors of the Turkish economy, accounting for around 7% of the country's GDP. There are some 56,000 textile and clothing companies operating in the country and they employ around two million people. In 2013, Turkey ranked 8th and 4th in global cotton production and consumption, respectively. The country ranked third in organic cotton production after India and Syria
The clothing and textile industry is largely based on cotton. Domestic output does not fully meet demand, which makes Turkey the world's third-largest cotton importer after China and Bangladesh. Clothing and textiles accounted for nearly 20% of Turkey's total exports by volume in 2013.
Turkish clothing and textile exports have been increasing over the past few years but their share in the country's total exports has been shrinking. The clothing industry exported some 65% of its production and generated USD 15bn in foreign sales in 2013. Cotton clothing accounted for as much as 80% of exports. The Turkish clothing industry was the 3rd largest exporter to the European Union and the 6th largest globally in 2013.
The clothing and textile industry is largely based on cotton. Domestic output does not fully meet demand, which makes Turkey the world's third-largest cotton importer after China and Bangladesh. Closer trading ties between the European Union and textile heavyweights like China and India have a negative impact on the Turkish clothing and textile industry.
The trade liberalization, coupled with the nearly doubling of salaries in the Turkish textile and clothing sectors between 2009 and 2013, have led to the industry's gradual loss of its cost advantage. To regain momentum, many Turkish textile and clothing producers have moved on to new designs, fashion styles and quality labels targeting higher-end customers.
To support the industry's climb up the quality ladder, the Turkish government has launched “Turquality”, a program designed to provide assistance in marketing, quality upgrade and strategic positioning