Most Provinces Surge Their Exports in 2022

Almost all provinces in Turkey increased their exports in the first quarter of the year. According to the Turkish Exporters Assembly data, there was an increase in exports in a total of 64 provinces. Thus, Turkey's exports in the January-March period reached 60 billion 288 million dollars, increasing 20.8%. Istanbul led the way in exports, followed by Kocaeli and Bursa.

Although most of the exports were carried out by big cities and provinces in the western region, 64 provinces in total increased their exports. The spread of exports throughout the country is important for the realization of the annual target. So, what does the increase in export figures indicate? Here, in the light of current data and possible scenarios, what is the latest situation in the Turkish economy?

Provinces in Marmara Region Come to the Forefront in Exports

The Marmara region is the cradle of production in Turkey due to its geographical location and trained manpower. The region, which is a pioneer in the industry, agriculture, tourism, and service sectors, draws attention with its value-added products. Exports are increasing in the region, where logistics diversity has increased with the mega transportation projects carried out in recent years. Kocaeli and Bursa came to replace Ankara and Izmir after Istanbul is one of the biggest proofs of this. So, what is the current situation in these provinces?

Top Three Provinces in Exports

Excluding exports from free zones, provinces in Turkey increased their exports by 24.4%. Thus, exports in the period from January to March reached 55 billion 149 million dollars. While 64 of 81 provinces increased their exports, the decrease in exports in 6 provinces remained in the single digits. Istanbul was once again at the top in this field by realizing more than 25% of exports.


In the January-March period, the highest export was made by Istanbul with 24.05 billion dollars. Istanbul is followed by Kocaeli with 4.76, Bursa with 3.87, and İzmir with 3.37 billion dollars. Istanbul takes the lead in production with its logistics capacity as well as hosting the important financial institutions of Europe. Having the largest airport in Europe and being convenient for land and sea transportation provides an advantage to Istanbul. Istanbul makes serious exports in the textile, chemical and automotive sectors.


Kocaeli, which is in the second place, draws attention with its proximity to Istanbul and agricultural cities. Gebze Organized Industrial Zone and the Dilovası region are the two regions where the most intensive production is made in Kocaeli. Kocaeli produces especially in automotive, chemistry, and other heavy industry branches. Kocaeli, which holds more than 15% of the Turkish manufacturing industry, generally exports to European Union countries. The ports established around the Gulf of Izmit are of great importance in logistics and transportation.  Between January and March, Kocaeli increased its exports by 917 million dollars. Thus, exports increased by 23.9%.


Ranking third, Bursa is one of the oldest cities in Turkey. Just like Kocaeli, Bursa is located close to the industrial and agricultural cities. Bursa is a leading city in the agriculture, livestock, fertilizer, and automotive sectors. It has Turkey's largest factories, especially in the automotive sector. Considering that Turkey's first domestic automobile factory will be opened in Bursa Gemlik, exports will increase significantly in the future.

Other Major Cities Followed the Ranking

After Bursa, the fourth most exporting province was İzmir. The export amount of İzmir was 3.37 billion dollars. Gaziantep, Ankara, and Sakarya were other cities with high export rates. Especially in Gaziantep, the increase in organized industrial zones, pasta production and research and development studies of established universities have been effective in recent years. While other big cities such as Manisa and Hatay came to the fore with their agricultural exports, Denizli exported textiles and wine.

The Provinces Whose Exports Increased the Most are from the Eastern Anatolia Region

Kars was the province with the highest proportional increase in its exports in the first quarter of the year. Kars increased its export rate by 231.7 percent. After Kars, the province that increased its exports the most was Bingöl. Bingöl's export increase rate was 175.2%. The provinces whose exports fell the most were also from the Eastern Anatolian region. Adıyaman and Muş were recorded as the two provinces whose exports decreased the most. While Adıyaman's export rate decreased by 60.2%, Muş's exports decreased by 51.1%.

Export Figures Are in Line with 2022 Target

Turkey can reach its export target of 250 billion dollars by 2022 if it goes at this rate. The monthly extra export target of 2.1 billion dollars was exceeded for the first quarter of the year. Big cities need to increase their export rate to reach the general target. Export targets seem possible with increasing logistics, research and development, and government contribution.