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The Number Of Expats Has Reached 26,000

The Number Of Expats Has Reached 26,000

There are over 210,000 foreigners living in Turkey. Of these, 26,000 work in Turkey and another 25,000 are students. Most of the remainder are the families of foreigners who are working in Turkey o...

Güncelleme: 01.02.2008

There are over 210,000 foreigners living in Turkey. Of these, 26,000 work in Turkey and another 25,000 are students. Most of the remainder are the families of foreigners who are working in Turkey or European retirees who have settled on the southern coasts… Americans account for the highest proportion of the foreigners working in Turkey. They are followed by Russians, Germans, French and British

According to the latest statistics from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TURKSTAT), there are 211,790 foreigners living in Turkey. Of these, 26,068 work in Turkey. The main reason for the others being in Turkey is that they are the families of those working here. There is also a far from negligible number of retirees who came to Turkey for a holiday and extended their stay by becoming homeowners on the country’s southern coasts. When we look at the nationalities of the foreigners working in Turkey we see that the highest proportion are American citizens. There are 2,258 Americans working in Turkey. They are followed by Russians with 1,951 and Germans with 1,717. The French, who are creating employment for 45,000 people by working in Turkey, are also included in the list. There are 1,487 French citizens working in Turkey. There are also considerable numbers of Britons, Chinese, Ukrainians, Azeris and Iranians working in the country. The vast majority of the 5,800 Iranians living in Turkey are students. The average length of stay for foreigners who come to Turkey to work varies from three to five years.

There Are 250 French Companies In Turkey
There are approximately 4,000 French people living in Turkey. Most of them are teachers or white collar workers and 80 percent are resident in Istanbul. There are 250 French companies in Turkey which provide employment for a total of 45,000 people. 75 percent of these companies are based in Istanbul. Raphael Esposito, the manager of the Turkish-French Commercial Association, explains the reasons for French companies coming to Turkey as follows: “Turkish is a strategic location in terms of business development. It is a country in the center of Europe, It is also close to the Middle East. It is a very important country in terms of production and logistics. In addition, it provides a very important environment for the establishment of business relations.”

The rapid liberalization of the economy, the privatization of state-controlled companies and the fact that it is a member of the Customs Union have all contributed to making Turkey attractive to French companies. Esposito notes that the recent wave of mergers and acquisitions has increased French companies’ interest in Turkey even further. “Moreover, Turkish companies are very open to mergers with foreign firms,” he said. “They are able to manage crises very well.”

Two of the most famous French expats in Turkey are Oyak Renault General Manager Alain Gabillet and Carrefoursa General Manager Thierry Pierre. French capital has a long history in Turkey. France is one of the leading foreign investors in Turkey and Renault, which has been operating in partnership with Oyak since 1969, is one of its most important representatives in the automotive sector. The plant in Turkey has the highest capacity of any Renault factory outside Western Europe. In addition, important French companies such as Total, La Farge, Danone, Carrefour and Sodexho also have a presence in Turkey.

The Number Of Working Britons Is Nearly 1,500
17 percent of the 8,574 Britons living in Turkey work in the country. The others are either the families of those who are working here or, particularly, retirees who have decided to live in Turkey. There is also a not inconsiderable number of Britons who have married Turkish citizens and remained here. The statistics for British citizens includes people from Scotland and Northern Ireland. A large proportion of the Britons working in Turkey are white collar workers. Tim Bright, a Briton who is a partner in the One World Consulting company, gave the following information about the positions of Britons working in Turkey.

“Some are in positions which are important from a technical perspective,” he said. “For example, they come for important responsibilities such as establishing a new production plant or increasing quality.”

Many British expats are sent to Turkey by their companies. For this reason, they usually establish a new system. Tim Bright says that British companies send their citizens to Turkey to serve as general manager or financial director when they establish a new enterprise or open a new office in the country. In addition to these, there are also Britons who come to Turkey to work in sales, marketing, technical and human resources departments. Britons tend to choose to live in Istanbul. The reasons for choosing Istanbul include the presence of foreign schools and the fact that there are more transportation links to their home country. Most of the Britons living outside Istanbul work in the textile and energy sectors. The number of Britons working in Turkey increases every year. The leading British firms active in Turkey include Vodafone, HSBC, BP, Shell and TescoKipa.

German Investments Have Exceeded Us$5 Billion
Germans have been amongst Turkey’s most important business partners for years. In 2006 there were approximately 2,400 companies in Turkey which were either German-owned or Turkish companies with w German shareholding. At the end of 2006, bilateral trade between the two countries had reached €17.3 billion. Every year more than three million German tourists visit Turkey. In addition, there are more than 10,000 Germans living in Turkey, of whom 16 percent work. In the period 1980 to 2006, total cumulative direct German investment reached US$5.08 billion. The major German companies in Turkey include BSH, Mercedes, the Metro group and Bayer. The most famous German expats include Metro AG Board Member Responsible for Enlargement Bert Bender, Mercedes Benz Turk Board Chairman Jürgen Ziegler, Real Hypermarkets General Manager Ulf Groth, BSH CEO Norbert Klein and Bayer Turk General Manager Dr. Sebastian Guth.

Hande Yavuz
hyavuz@capital.com.tr

  



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