Episode 2: Turkish Stone Industry
Natural stone industry in Turkey mainly consists of producing marble, granite, limestone, travertine, serpentine, diabase and slate stone. In 1996, the General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration of Turkey, (known as Maden Tetkik ve Arama Genel Mudurlugu, MTA) calculated the natural stone sources for the first time as 5x10.9 cubic meters. Since then, there has been a constant growth of the natural stone industry in Turkey every year.
Annual growth rate on average has been twice as that of the whole world. Following China, India and Italy, Turkey is the fourth country in the world in terms of the broadest natural stone production.
Natural stone reserves in Turkey are spread over the country. 32 % of the reserves are in the Aegean Region, 26 % in Marmara, 11 % in Central Anatolia and 31 % of the reserves are in the rest of the country, namely Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia, the Black Sea Region and the Mediterranean Region.
Furthermore, Turkey is one of the most notable countries in the whole world in terms of marble, travertine and granite. The overall reserve of marble is estimated as 13.9 billion tons (nearly 5.1 billion cubic meters).
According to the data MTA reports, Turkey potentially has 5 billion cubic meters of marble. It is known that almost 35 % of the marble reserves in the world are located in Turkey. With the current demand for marble, Turkey has enough reserves to supply marble for the whole world for the next 80 years. According to the studies, the capacity of marble that can be processed in Turkey is 3.8 billion m3. For travertine, it is 2.7 billion m3 and the capacity for granite is 995 million m3.
In Turkey, there are approximately 1000 functioning quarries and more than 7000 workshops and 1500 factories processing the stone. Moreover, approximately 250,000 employees are working in the sector. 90 % of the quarries are in the regions of Aegean and Marmara: 27 % in Balikesir, 24 % in Afyon, 12 % in Bilecik, 8 % in Denizli, 6% in Mugla and 4 % in Eskisehir. The production in these areas represent 65 % of the whole production in the country. In Afyon, there are 355 facilities processing marble and 45 of them are highly integrated large-scale plants. Yearly production in Afyon is estimated to be 6.6 million m². 14 % of the marble export of the country is done by the companies in Afyon.
(Afyon Turkey Marble )
Sources and Production:
Thanks to the current production technology, methods, craftsmanship and ease of transportation, Turkey is one of the leading countries in the natural stone industry. Since the quality of the stone is of great importance, advanced technology with entirely automated machinery is utilized during the manufacturing process. That is why the plants processing the stones are able to create the desired product with commercially high standards of quality. Even though the companies in the Turkish natural stone market are moderate in their size, they are standardized and well organised through associations and unions
Most of the quarries, namely 90 % of them, are situated in the western part of the country that is known as the Aegean and Marmara Regions. More than 500 types of products are manufactured by the companies throughout the country.