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Turkish textile hub hopes to regain losses from Russian crisis in coming season

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2015-07-05 11:00:00 – Istanbul

The Laleli quarter of İstanbul known as Turkey’s textile hub with hundreds of shops sell clothing products at the retail and wholesale level mainly to Russian buyers. In the past year and a half having been experiencing a serious Russian-based crisis. They have confronted the economic difficulties that have arisen from this crisis, and in the last few months they have been diminished. Despite a major drop in the Russian business integral to Turkey's textile industry, the sector is hopeful that it will make up for its losses in the coming season, according to statements from industry leaders.

The Turkish textile hub has a decades-long history of customers from Russia and from other former Soviet states purchasing textile products to sell in their home countries.

Laleli Industrialists and Businessmen's Association (LASİAD) Chairman Giyasettin Eyyüpkoca, speaking at an iftar dinner arranged by the association late last month said that in the upcoming season they anticipate at the very least, the compensation of a large portion of their losses as Russia is bouncing back.

Eyyüpkoca also added that the fourth annual Laleli Fashion Shopping Festival is slated to kick off in August, last year's festival was attended by buyers from 27 countries.

Speaking after Eyyüpkoca, the chairman of the İstanbul Textile and Raw Materials Exporters' Union (İTHİB), İsmail Gülle, shared similar sentiments.

They are noticing improvements relating to Russia. Their biggest exporting problem is when prices fall as sales increase. In the second half of this year they believe that this situation will improve. It's not easy: In around one year they have gone through three elections, with the new government, they can move forward with new projects prioritizing growth in exports, employment and industry, Gülle said.

According to the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TÄ°M) figures, from earlier this year, exports bound for Russia declined 43 percent between January and April, compared to the same period in 2014. The biggest factor contributing to the major drop stemmed from losses in the ready-made clothing sector.

Economic sanctions imposed on Russia after its annexation of Crimea, in conjunction with the devaluation of the ruble, have created a major crisis for the Russian economy. The Russian crisis has spilled over into Turkey, particularly affecting the textile and tourism sectors, as large numbers of Russians on vacation are known to flock to Turkey's southern provinces.

But Istanbul continues to attracts a number of international buying offices, trading houses and major retailers and department stores. Since Istanbul is becoming a fashion and shopping center. The World’s largest shopping centers are opening in Istanbul. Many tourist have started added Istanbu to their itinerary for shopping as a global sourcing hub for both Asia and Europe. Also most of the companies have shifted their production facilities to the inner provinces. Izmir, Bursa, Ankara, Denizli, Gaziantep, Kayseri, Tekirdag, Adiyaman, Kahramanmaras and Adana are now major cities for textile and clothing production.

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