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Turkey Manufacturers Claim Strikes Not Disrupting Orders

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Strikes and riots in Turkey have not disrupted order delivery, says the Turkish Clothing Manufacturers’ Association (TCMA), which represents most Turkish clothing manufacturers. Despite a week of civil unrest, which began on May 31st in Istanbul, Cem Negrin, the TCMA president, has said that the industry has been unaffected.

More than 60% of Turkey’s textiles and apparel are manufactured in Istanbul, where the unrest is taking place.

Negrin explained that workers have continued going to the factories and that production is unaffected. He also expressed that retail customers are not concerned.

Negrin said that TCMA workers have been participating in demonstrations, but they have not been participating in strike actions, which have primarily consisted of workers in the Public Worker’s Unions Confederation, which has around 240,000 members.

“No one from the industry has been on strike,” he said.

He also acted to alleviate concerns that services would be disrupted by the strikes. Many of the striking workers are members of the United Transport Workers’ Union, which plays a vital role in moving clothing and textile products into European markets. 70-80% of Turkey’s textile and garment exports are destined for the EU, and generally move by truck.

Importers have also said that they have not been having any difficulties. At this point, the unrest has not been widespread or long lasting in a way that would disrupt shipments. This is also a slow season for European retailers. Demand should pick up in July.

Turkey exported $15.9 billion in textiles and apparel to the EU in 2012, a 2.6% reduction from 2011. Germany, Europe’s economic powerhouse, is the biggest destination for Turkish goods, absorbing $4.2 billion in textiles and garments. Turkey’s exports are up 7.7% from the same period in 2012.



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