Against all odds: Syrian-owned businesses top list of Turkey's foreign firms
Entrepreneurs from Syria established more businesses in Turkey than any other country in the first month of the year, a Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) report revealed on Friday.
Syrian-owned firms topped the list of foreign companies established in Turkey in January. A total of 363 foreign-owned companies were created in January 2014 in the country, and 96 were Syrian-owned, the TOBB report said.
The report indicated that Germany is in second place on the list, with 36 firms, while Iran was third, with 21 companies. Turkey's trade and investment ties with Syria have deteriorated due to a protracted civil war in Syria, but many Syrian-owned firms fled the clashes at home to nearby countries like Turkey and Jordan.
Iran had long held the top spot on the list; the number of Iranian-owned firms rose steadily each month in 2012. Observers have repeatedly pointed to concerns in Ankara that some of the Tehran-backed business may be front companies set up to circumvent UN-sponsored sanctions on Iran.
Of the foreign firms established in Turkey last year, 1,415 were commerce-related, 543 were in manufacturing and 375 were in the construction sector.
Additional TOBB data indicate that Turkey saw a total of 5,916 companies established in January compared to December, an increase of 14.4 percent or 621 more than the prior month, when the figure stood at 4,295. The number of companies that were closed in January came to 2,892, almost a 20 percent increase compared to the previous month.
Of the companies launched in January, 2,462 firms are located in İstanbul, 614 in Ankara, 320 in İzmir and 204 in Antalya.