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E-commerce volume in Turkey reaches $7b

E-commerce volume in Turkey reaches $7b

ANKARA: The electronic commerce volume in Turkey increased by 35 percent in 2014 from the previous year, reaching 18.9 billion Turkish Liras ($7 billion), according to the Istanbul-based Informatics Industry Association (TÜBİSAD).

E-commerce represented 1.6 percent of overall retail business in the country in 2014, a rise from 1.2 percent in 2013, TÜBİSAD stated on June 25. E-commerce in 2013 had been worth 14 billion liras (just over $5 billion).

TÜBİSAD chairman Kemal Cılız noted that the latest increase had been achieved at a time when the Turkish economy was experiencing slower growth, but he also warned that e-commerce in Turkey was “still not at desired level.”

The 1.6 percent e-commerce rate lags behind the average in emerging countries, which is around 4.5 percent, said the TÜBİSAD report, adding that in developed countries it is 6.5 percent.

Cılız said the e-commerce sector in Turkey still lacked a “solid legal background and proper regulations.”

“The e-commerce sector could make further contribution to tax incomes, employment, and trade if the required steps are taken in these areas,” he added.

Soner Canko, the chairman of the Turkish Interbank Card Center, said there had been a sharp increase in mobile payments recently.

“Fifty percent of online transactions are conducted on mobile devices [according to May’s figures],” Canko said.

Overall, Turkish people have spent 6.8 billion liras ($2.6 billion) on websites selling vacation spots and airline tickets while they spent 6.5 billion liras ($2.4 billion) on retail websites. On betting websites, they have spent 2.1 billion liras ($790 million).

Burak Ertaş, a member of TÜBİSAD’s board of directors, said Turkish people were accustomed to using credit cards for their transactions in stores, so it would take time for them to make the transition to using credit cards online.