Since ancient times, according to Constructmaterials, Turkey has played an important role in trade between Europe and Asia and, even today, the country represents a very important direction for relations between Europe and the Middle East. The Bosphorus (crossed since 1973 by a gigantic bridge, inaugurated on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Turkish Republic) is always a crucial passage for connections between the European and Asian parts of the country. The traffic on the Bosphorus, very lively at all times, gives an immediate measure of the strategic importance of this Eurasian crossroads; an international convention guarantees the passage to the ships of every flag. The road and railway network is fairly developed, even if a WE gradient remains: in fact, it is the western regions that guarantee satisfactory levels of efficiency while the eastern ones show a simpler and more limited structure. The roads that cross Anatolia from the Bosphorus wind mostly along the traditional routes; however, the enhancement of Ankara and its metropolitan area has led to a greater articulation of the Anatolian road system. Many of the old roads have been modernized, adapted to today’s traffic (the transit of trucks is very intense, making up for the shortage of railways) and many are newly built. Despite the substantial government interventions, the road network, whose overall development is 426,662 km of which 60,000 are asphalted (2003), remains inadequate to the needs of the country and many centers still lack easy communication routes (only 2000 km of motorway network). The main axis of the road network is the İstanbul-Ankara-Erzurum, which reaches the border with Iran; important arteries branch off from it (for Adana, Smyrna etc.), but the main coastal centers are not yet joined by real coastlines. The development of the railway network is quite recent (the first lines were built with the help of Germany at the time of Atatürk) and is modest overall, with just 8430 km. However, it plays an important role from the point of view of heavy traffic and connections with ports; fundamental nodes of the network are İstanbul, Smyrna, Eskisehir, Ankara, Malatya. In practice, with the sole exception of Bursa, all the main cities of Turkey are now connected by rail. The port outlets are numerous.
The most active and on which extensive hinterlands gravitate are those of İstanbul, Smyrna, Mersin, İskenderun, İzmit. The ships of the Turkish fleet total a gross tonnage of just 4.9 million t (2003), but the maritime trades see a large presence of foreign shipowners. Air communications play an important role today. The national airline is Türk Hava Yollari (THY), which operates mainly connections to major European and Middle Eastern cities. The main airports are the international ones of Yesilköy (İstanbul), Esenboğa (Ankara) and Adana; there are also about twenty airports used for internal flights. Internal commercial traffic has a certain liveliness in the westernmost and industrialized region of the country and mainly concerns the procurement of raw materials for industry and consumer goods for large urban centers. Small and medium-sized cities, traditionally suited to trade, are still linked to the presence of the bazaar, which is however losing the color and animation of the past. The degree of openness of Turkey to international trade is high and trade exchanges registered a positive variation between 2004 and 2005 of over 19% for imports and 17% for exports. The trade balance is structurally in deficit and the external debt is large. The main trading partners for imports (raw materials and fuels, machinery, consumer goods, building materials) are Germany and then Russia. Italy, China, France and the United States follow at a distance. Russia and China are the countries that have most increased their shares of import in recent years. As for exports (textile, steel and chemical industrial products, skins, leather, dried fruit, legumes and tobacco), the most important partner is still Germany, with which Turkey has a consolidated partnership. commercial, followed by the United Kingdom, Italy and the United States. These are the main Turkish exports in 2017 (in millions of US $): clothing and accessories 14,801, iron and steel 13,841, appliances and machinery 13,831, vehicles and their parts 12,131, cars 11,815, electrical and electronic equipment 8,097, gold 6,606, plastics 5,476, fruit and vegetables 4,943, jewels and precious 4,272, petroleum derivatives 3,722, synthetic / artificial fibers / yarns 2,968, furniture and accessories 2,762, construction materials 2,573, aluminum 2,514, tires and rubber articles 2,495, carpets 2,163, fabrics 2,067.
As far as the tourism sector is concerned, Turkey boasts resources of great importance and is visited annually for approx. 17 million foreigners (2004), mainly from the EU and Russia. The main attractions are, in addition to the prestigious İstanbul, the many and famous historical and archaeological centers (Ephesus, Miletus, Troia etc.), a city of great interest for Islamic art, the evocative Anatolian landscapes and, above all, the seaside resorts that boast beautiful beaches. In the telecommunications sector, Turkey has made significant progress. In 2000, a new telecommunications law was passed, although Türk Telekom maintained its monopoly on national telephony until 2003. The use of landline telephony and access to the Internet are still affected by a very limited network, while mobile telephony is experiencing higher growth rates. The postal service is also lacking and lagging behind in terms of infrastructure and deregulation. The results of the economic liberalization process launched in the last decade has led the country to experience a phase of economic development, characterized by a growth in GDP, which was however characterized in a contradictory way by the persistence of the chronic evils that have afflicted Turkey for some time, namely inflation and foreign debt, structurally deficient. The situation was inevitably aggravated by the resumption, in May 1993, of the conflict between the state and the Kurdish autonomist party, which in addition to having had repercussions on tourism, causing a decrease in the number of visitors, slowed down the approach of Turkey. to Europe. The lack of economic aid from the European side and the worsening of the trade balance deficit made it inevitable to launch a series of economic austerity measures in 1994, such as the an increase in the price of gasoline and some consumer products, as well as a freeze on wages. The privatization of state-owned enterprises has also accelerated, attempting to remedy the shortcomings of the plethoric and backward public sector, but the limited resources and technical and financial capacities, despite the flow of foreign investments, have continued to weigh on the fragile production facilities. The banking system is coordinated and controlled by the Central Bank (Merkez Bankasi), which is itself strictly dependent on the central government. but the limited resources and technical and financial capacities, despite the flow of foreign investments, continued to weigh on the fragile productive structures. The banking system is coordinated and controlled by the Central Bank (Merkez Bankasi), which is itself strictly dependent on the central government. but the limited resources and technical and financial capacities, despite the flow of foreign investments, continued to weigh on the fragile productive structures. The banking system is coordinated and controlled by the Central Bank (Merkez Bankasi), which is itself strictly dependent on the central government.