November 1st, 2012
11:16 AM GMT
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Turkey's geographical position at the crossroads of three continents is driving the success of Turkish construction companies abroad. Only China has more firms than Turkey among the world’s biggest international construction contractors, according to a recent survey.

The construction industry is crucial to Turkey's economy, accounting for well over 6% of GDP and employing some 1.5 million people. A readiness to move into new markets means Turkish construction companies now have operations in 94 countries, with a value of some $206 billion.

Among the country’s most successful building contractors is TAV Construction. Since 2003 the TAV group has been expanding its presence throughout the region and now operates in 10 countries, with $12.5 billion worth of contracts. TAV CEO Sani Sener says his company’s success in the region is partly due to its strong local geographic and cultural ties.

“Globalization can transfer capital and knowledge, but globalization cannot transfer cultures,” he told CNN’s John Defterios.

“Geographical proximity and cultural commonality” are both key to TAV, he added.

Already responsible for building international airports in Turkey, Macedonia and Georgia, Turkish construction giant TAV is now working on part of Qatar's new international airport.

With its futuristic state-of-the-art design, Doha's international airport will cost a total of $11 billion and will process 12.5 million passengers annually. TAV and Japanese company Taisei will build passenger terminals in Doha in a $3.3 billion joint venture.

Sener is confident the aviation industry can ride out the political turmoil and rebuilding in countries such as Syria and Libya.

“Aviation is a very crisis-resistant business,” said Sener. “When we started out in 2000 there was a devastating earthquake in Turkey, then we had the Turkish crisis in 2001, later 9/11, the Afghanistan war, the Iraq war, SARS disease, Avian flu, the ash cloud, the Arab Spring.

“We had all kinds of external shocks but still we achieved 11.2% compound average growth rate in passenger numbers … and the growth is mainly in emerging markets.”

And Sener says a growing number of flights connecting new airports in the region is helping to drive local economies. “These synergies between airlines and flight carriers and main hub operators is really creating new businesses,” he said.

Filed under: Along the silk roadBusiness

soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. deniz boro

    Turkish sub-contractors and Turkish subsidiaries of many construction companies operating in Turkey are indeed in a lucrative position to address the newly rich Muslim market. Another form of Dubai is being founded in Istanbul in the super luxorious resident sector for example. The trend and decoration style is middle age Palaces, with private and exclusive mosques. Well that is kind of strange, because while Christians may enjoy a private Chapel, Islamic worshipping is supposed to be communal. What the real Turkish origined construction and engineering companies are doing is more comprehansive than building Neo-Palaces for the new high society of the Middle East. Such companies serve utilitarian needs rather than replicating nostalgic Harem decorations with plaster cast.

    November 1, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  2. TheWordpressGhost


    How long will the industry see growth?

    November 4, 2012 at 3:03 am |
  3. rip

    Really!!! Three continents.........

    November 4, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
  4. Sabine

    Some countries aren't even capable of building their own airport. Some build airports of tens of other countries along with theirs.

    Not every race should have a say, and they shouldn't be taken equally when they talk. Turks are hardworking decent race and they don't talk much, even when it comes to defending themselves against the baseless accusations of the pathetic countries around them. Yet all those lame races continuously attack them in various ways when they are not in a position to do so, with random accusations driven by their twisted versions of history because they lost wars to the Turkish Ottoman Empire which was the superpower of the world for centuries.

    Turks ruled tens of nations for half a millenium before your adventurist country started its existence of couple of centuries. Words are cheap, people have to be selective about who they listen to and who they believe.

    November 5, 2012 at 6:01 am |
  5. AsianCentury

    Excellent point! SABINE, it is time for Turkey to take care all your Muslims brothers and sisters Rohingas, Uygurs, and others from Middle East and Africa. They are burden to our economy, system, and lives in Asia Pacific.

    November 5, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  6. V

    SABINE Turkey can`t stand without the US.It will fall and don`t forget that the Turks came-just like americans- as colonists in the areas they conquered without ever inventing anything.Their most famous contrinutions to the world are genocides and wars let alone destructions of monuments and churches.Arabs hate them so do Syrians,Israelis,Lebanese,Egyptians,Serbians,Armenians,Iranians,Greeks,Russians and the list goes on.

    November 5, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
  7. Sabine

    V, you really have to get real rather than repeating the lies and propaganda you hear from those races I mentioned. If you go to their nations, Greece and Armenia per say, you will see that everything left from Turkish Ottoman Empire is entirely destroyed, as in they don't exist anymore. If you go to Turkey, you will find out that Turks renovated them and turned them into museums.

    Athens is the only capital in Europe that doesn't have any mosques, they destroyed them all. Armenians do not tolerate any other religion than theirs, they even discriminate against other denominations of Christianity. Yet, these people shamelessly accuse Turks of converting or destroying historic monuments and churches. Turks, at one point, converted churches to mosques, but then converted them to museums. Which is far far far far far better than destroying them. Like I said, Turks are a decent race that do much better but don't talk about it, but those others just spread lies and propaganda when they are uncomparably worse.

    Again, those "so-called" genocides you hear about are also nothing more than wars that they lost to Turks. Any and every war car be turned into a genocide later on by the losing side. You have to see what those people who lost the wars did to Turks before they brought the war upon themselves, only then you will be able to evaluate the situation correctly and see how they are far from innocent, which is why they always ignore the initial part of the story and focus on the outcome while majorly twisting and exaggerating it.

    Truth is that winning sides of wars are not genocide committers. If Turks lost wars to these neighbours of them, they would have been subject to the real genocide that they are accused of. You must not fall for the random stories you hear, they are as bogus as a three-dollar bill. If you go as far to accuse Turks of contributing wars, you have to think with a clear mind and realize that powerful race did it at the time, even the most peaceful nations of today were barbarians in the past. Scandinavia for instance, they were vikings. You need to get back to your senses.

    November 6, 2012 at 5:18 am |
  8. Griffin

    that is the weirdiest thing i've iheard

    November 8, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
  9. Homa shahidi

    The silk road was build up by Persians thousand year ago as all historian knows about it. There was a programme abut it in BBC1 few years ago. After reading your article about the silk road and the countriest those participant abut to bring the road back to it is trade use and it's glory without even smalles mention about Iran . I wondered , these poeple are the same people who are talking of uneaty and human wright.
    No wonder why Iranian poeple do not believe in American and western human wright.the both a like are just interested in their own profits nothing ales.

    November 10, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  10. Homa shahidi

    The silk road was build up by Persians thousand year ago as all historian knows about it. There was a programme abut it in BBC1 few years ago. After reading your article about the silk road and the countriest those participant abut to bring the road back to it is trade use and it's glory without even smalles mention about Iran . I wondered , these poeple are the same people who are talking of unesty and human rights.
    No wonder why Iranian poeple do not believe in American and western Human Rights. The both a like just are interested
    in their own profits nothing else. No country in this world implement Human Right law even God does not. Do not use ithe human rights and democracy as excuss to bomb the countries which does not agree with yours one.

    November 10, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
  11. Icl

    I agree with Sabine!

    December 4, 2012 at 8:58 am |
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    Very promising development growth in Turkey great to see

    December 9, 2012 at 2:39 am |
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Along the Silk Road

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