Turkey: A Hidden Treasure? Guest Post by Hakki Ozmorali from http://lucemurphyfong.comToday we are pleased to welcome guest blogger Hakki Ozmorali.  Hakki Ozmorali was the first corporate professional in the Turkish network marketing industry. After serving various direct selling companies as Country Manager and Regional Manager in Turkey and Canada, he now provides consulting services to the industry in Turkey. Hakki Ozmorali is also the publisher of the popular weekly newsletter, The World of Direct Selling.

Turkey: A Hidden Treasure?
by Hakki Ozmorali

You decide it for yourself:

  • Turkey’s population is 75.6 million. This is the 17th highest in the world, and the 3rd highest in Europe after Russia and Germany. Turkey is expected to be Europe’s 2nd largest market by the year 2020.
  • 14 million people live in the largest city Istanbul. This is more than each of the European countries Portugal, Greece, Belgium, Hungary, Sweden and Bulgaria.
  • There about 3 million Turks who live in the European Union countries keeping very close ties with their relatives and friends at home.
  • Turkey has a growing economy. The GDP growth rate in fixed prices was 9.2% in 2010, 8.5% in 2011, and 2.2% in 2012.
  • Due to the birth rates and the increasing productivity in the economy, unemployment remains a major problem: There is over 10% urban unemployment. This rate is almost twice as high among the young and also among women.
  • To an industry that relies very heavily on communications, the physical infrastructure and people’s attitude towards these means are very important. Currently, there are more than 20 million Internet and 68 million mobile subscriptions in the country.
  • The direct selling model has been widely accepted by the society. The volume generated by the industry was USD 1.2 billion in 2011. This puts Turkey in the so-called “Billion Dollar Club”. Well over 1 million people are thought to be affiliated with at least one direct selling company on a full time or a part time basis.
  • There are now more than 80 direct selling companies operating in the market. Among those internationals that are currently in Turkey are: Amway, Avon, Herbalife, Forever Living, Kyani, LR Health & Beauty Systems, Nikken, Nu Skin, Oriflame, PM-International, Saladmaster, Sunrider, Tiens, Tupperware, and Vision.
  • Companies are required to get a license, a procedure that takes no longer than few days. Direct sellers on the other hand, are not required to get any licences, nor are they required to tax-register. Direct selling companies are to withhold a percentage of the commissions and transfer it to the tax office.
  • The Turkish economy has close ties with many countries, the EU being on top of the list. Turkey has customs union with the European Union since 1994 lifting any duties for products coming from and through this region.

So, what do you think? Isn’t the potential huge?