In Turkey, the history of marble dates back quite far. According to the findings obtained from historical ruins, it has been seen that there have been natural stone processing activities in Anatolia for 2000 years.
Compared to other sectors, it is clear that the marble sector has low input costs and high added value. Therefore, the revenue obtained from marble exported by Turkey remains in Turkey.
Marble Sector and Exports in the World and Turkey
When we look at the natural stone production chart in the world, we can see that there has been a double increase specifically in the last decade. When we look at the export figures in the marble sector in the world, Turkey ranks first in block marble exports. Italy and Spain come after Turkey. Turkey has almost half of the world marble potential with its 5 billion cubic meter reserves.
When marble deposits in Turkey are examined, it is seen that marble deposits are concentrated in northwest and west of Turkey. Regionally, we see that the Aegean region stands out in terms of mineral stocks.
With the Mining Law in 1985, we observe that the potential of marble exports in Turkey has increased. Marble exports rose every year and exceeded the limit of 1 billion dollars in 2006. In the meantime, the development of the sector has accelerated with the improvements in marble processing technology and ease of communication at the global level.
When we look at the export items, we see that the marble is exported in blocks, divided into certain sizes. When we look at the natural stone export graphs, we see that the product with the highest added value is processed marble and processed travertine. China takes the first place among the exported countries, followed by the US and Saudi Arabia.
We see that the total export volume, which was 1.5 billion dollars in 2008, increased to 2.3 billion dollars in 2013 and then decreased to 1.8 billion dollars in 2016.
Problems in the Sector
One of the problems in the marble sector is the lack of qualified labor force. The limited number of schools providing marbling education is one of the biggest problems faced by companies in this sector. Employers had to trust untrained people for operating machinery worth billions of dollars. As a solution to these problems, courses related to marble production should be provided in vocational high schools and relevant departments of universities.
The lack of a common marketing concept of marble across the country is also one of the issues experienced. On the other hand, the importance of branding should be emphasized. The sale of Turkish marble under a certain name will ensure more effective promotion abroad. Another issue is the lack of standardization in the sector.
Another problem is the lack of investment incentives. Although there are successful examples of incentives in different parts of the world, no special incentive mechanism has been developed for the mining sector in Turkey. Since energy is used extensively in the sector, incentives such as low tariffs especially in energy bills, fuel support, exemptions for tax and social security contributions are requested.
Turkey is promising in marble production and exports with its potential. With proper planning, Turkey can strengthen its position in the world marble market. As Delta Marble, we carry out sales with an export policy that Turkey deserves.