Strong commercial ties with the UK
Turkey and the UK have strong commercial ties. English is increasingly used for business, and Turkey has adopted European business ethics and modern management practices. Some of the UK’s biggest companies operate here including Vodafone, GlaxoSmithKline, BP, Marks & Spencer and HSBC. The country is also a popular holiday destination for British tourists.
Turkey straddles both Europe and Asia and borders a range of countries. Its strategic location means it can act as a springboard for UK companies to do business in markets such as Central Asia and the South Caucasus. Businesses can get strong support from UK Export Finance.
Top five UK goods exported to Turkey , in the four quarters to the end of Q3 2023
|Value (£ billion )
|Mechanical power generators (intermediate)
|Metal ores & scrap
Top five UK services exported to Turkey , in the four quarters to the end of Q1 2023
|Value (£ million )
|Other Business Services
|Intellectual property [Note 5]
ONS UK trade in services: service type by partner country, non-seasonally adjusted
Last updated: July 2023
Download the latest trade and investment factsheet for Turkey.
Total import value (into the UK from Turkey) and export value (from the UK into Turkey) over time
|Imports (£ billion )
|Exports (£ billion )
|Total trade (£ billion )
ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: October 2023
Total trade is the sum of all exports and imports over the same time period.
Download the latest trade and investment factsheet for Turkey.
Turkey: at a glance
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Opportunities for exporters
Turkey and the UK have developed strong commercial ties, particularly in sectors such as energy, infrastructure, healthcare, technology, retail, defence and security, aerospace, and financial and business services. The Turkish government is investing significantly in a wide range of infrastructure projects, from nuclear power to road and rail.
There are opportunities for UK businesses to provide specialist equipment to the Turkish healthcare market. This includes advanced medical technologies and equipment for all areas of medicine, as well as implants, dental and orthopaedic products, hearing aids, splints and other fracture appliances.
There’s demand for the provision of services in hospitals, including catering, cleaning, security and accommodation. UK businesses could also provide professional, clinical and facilities management services, staff training, and medical services for the elderly and disabled. They could also operate commercial areas of healthcare facilities such as cafes and pharmacies.
UK businesses may find opportunities in designing healthcare facilities. There’s a need for the design of innovative e-delivery services, energy efficient or ‘green’ buildings, intelligent information technology, and rooms and devices for operation theatres, laboratories and wards.
Turkey is a major automotive manufacturer, both of vehicles and components. Its customs union with the EU and its geographic location mean it has excellent access to international automotive supply chains. Ford, Renault, Nissan and Toyota and many others have a significant presence in Turkey.
From commercial shipbuilding to high end superyachts, Turkey’s maritime industry continues to attract talent and increase production. UK companies supplying maritime services and specialist equipment could help meet demand in the market.
Turkey hosts a major carrier – Turkish Airlines – and is an international air transport hub. The sector aims to shift part of its long established, global manufacturing supply chain towards more local production. UK companies supplying aerospace services and specialist equipment could help meet demand.
The Turkish government aims to install power plants to provide 5,000 MW of solar energy by 2023. Turkey will add around 1,000 MW of solar energy capacity in the near term through tenders for 40-50 MW capacity solar investments, launched under its renewable energy resource area (YEKA) scheme.
Due to its climate and topography, Turkey is also attractive for wind energy investments. The government aims to increase Turkey’s installed wind power capacity to 20,000 MW by 2023.
Turkey’s first nuclear power station is currently under construction, with proposals for two further plants under consultation. None are yet operational. A new nuclear energy law in the pipeline covers the basic principles of nuclear safety, authorisation and enforcement responsibilities, and aims to ensure that the nuclear regulatory authority is fully independent.
Supply of equipment
Turkey is one of the world’s largest security equipment importers. UK companies in the sector may find Turkey a profitable target market for their goods.
Access to other markets
One of Turkey’s strategic targets is to create a self-sufficient security industry sector. UK businesses that choose to work with Turkish partners in the sector will find it easier to access not only the Turkish market but other markets as well.
Turkey is an important partner in building international security. There are a lot of opportunities on offer in the Turkish security sector for UK security businesses, especially in cyber security, energy, nuclear, airports and disaster relief.
Turkish construction companies are among the world’s highest rated and most active. As the Turkish construction sector boom has slowed, Turkish businesses in the sector are now using their proven expertise to successfully explore other markets. UK companies can benefit from forming partnerships with them.
Major infrastructure projects in the Turkish transport sector, including around bridges, roads, airports and rail, are currently being carried out. These present opportunities for UK companies that provide services and equipment in these sectors.
Water infrastructure is a major area of development for Turkey. Existing systems in large cities are being updated, and aid funded projects also present opportunities for UK businesses. Turkish state and municipal water authorities are interested in UK expertise, services and equipment.