Working in Istanbul this May - a city I’ve been to for business in the past - is reaffirmation of the strength and growth in this bridge market. With centuries of tradition as a geographic link between East and West, Turkey seems to have a natural dexterity of adapting itself to the changing winds of global economies.
From a macro perspective, at nearly 80m people and 4% GDP growth, the government (despite woes) has been stimulating an already entrepreneurial culture with tax-free zones, universities and tech parks, and various growth assistance. From an international and foreign investment perspective, there is much greater stability in Turkey as a unified business culture and administration than some of the other competing BEM / BRIC / NEXT11 candidates. Further, the proximity to both Europe and Asia has always put the country in an ideal position to saddle international trade.
While on the ground in Istanbul, running conferences and meeting with companies, it’s hard to avoid the obvious: Turkey is currently undergoing tremendous growth, with a direct affect on their local technology companies. In a story, similar to what we’ve seen in other markets like Mexico and Brazil, many Turkish tech firms are having to cap their growth, as they simply cannot meet the talent / deployment needs of their current demand. North American and Western European tech giants are certainly not ignorant to this growth and the potential of this market: several of the Turkish companies we’ve talked to are in current discussions with Western buyers.