Turkey has been manufacturing chemicals for very long time, being a producer of many basic and intermediate chemicals and petrochemicals. Turkish chemical production includes petrochemicals, inorganic and organic chemicals, fertilizers, paints, pharmaceuticals, soaps and detergents, synthetic fibers, essential oils, cosmetics and personal care products. 84 percent of production originates from the private sector.

The chemical industry employs 81.527 people and has about 4.000 companies manufacturing various chemicals. 2 % of the existing companies have more than 150 employees and the remainder have less than 20 employees. Most of the companies in the chemical industry, especially private sector companies, are located in İstanbul, Izmir, Kocaeli, Sakarya, Adana, Gaziantep and Ankara.

The Turkish chemical industry has developed significantly in terms of quality, productivity and protection of the environment, and is in the process of adopting the EU’s Technical Standards.

The Turkish chemical industry has competitive power because of various raw materials advantages. Turkey is among the main producers of soda ash, chrome and boron chemicals.

The dominant organization in the Turkish petrochemical sector is Petkim Petrokimya Holding A.Ş. which is a© İGEME – Export Promotion Center of Turkey, 2010 public company and under a privatization scheme at present. There are two petrochemical complexes, one is thePetkim-­Aliağa complex in İzmir and the other one is the Tüpraş. 

The total production of these petrochemicals reaches about 2.9 million tons/year, and meets about 25 % of domestic demand.

Since the textile sector is a well­developed sector in Turkey, polymer production related to textiles and the production of textile chemicals have also developed simultaneously. Large plants for the production of polyester and acrylic fibers have been built and production has been directed to both the foreign markets as well as the domestic market. Almost all synthetic fibers are produced by the private sector and synthetic fiber production is around 850.000 tons/year.

The fertilizer industry is one of the key industries for Turkey, which has vast agricultural potential. The industry has a total production capacity of 5.8 million tons/year. AN 26, AS, DAP, TSP, urea and composed fertilizers comprise the largest share of fertilizer production. Turkey’s fertilizer production meets domestic demand and the surplus is exported.
The Turkish soap and detergent industry has shown very good performance in terms of quality, capacity and exports. There are many companies in the soap and detergent industry, about 15 of them being the major ones; Among these there are multinational groups which have worldwide reputations. Since 1990 domestic and foreign investments in the Turkish cleaning products industry have increased considerably. As a consequence, detergent production capacity has reached 1.3 billion tons and soap production capacity has reached 550 thousand tons; both have great export potential.