Turkish marble producers enjoy sales boom

   "Turkey has rich and various marble reserves. Twenty five percent of all marble trade in the world is Turkey-led," a marble exporter, Silkar Mining's CEO Erdoğan Akbulak, told Anadolu Agency.

   Silkar, which has factories in Turkey and China, said increasing demand for all kinds of materials, including marble, needed for top-tier residential and commercial projects led him to invest more, especially in Chinese demand.

   Akbulak said: "In the 1990's, Turkey's exports were $200-300 million but they reached $2 billion in 2016, The country wrote a success story in this field."

   Referring to the importance of the branding of Turkish companies in the world, Akbulak said Silkar --established in 1990 -- exports marble to 40 countries with Turkey's branding support program named Turquality since 2009.

   He said: "Turquality provides discipline to companies. It supports our institutionalization works."

   Silkar Mining is in the top five brands in the U.S. in floor and wall materials with 400 branches under the AKDO brand, he highlighted.

   He also said Turkey's marble was more and more preferred.

   Exports constitute 95 percent of sales of the firm which has production facilities in Turkey and China, he said.

   He stated the firm's yearly turnover is around $60 million.

   A marble producers' association (MABSIAD) chairman Erol Efendioğlu said Turkey's processed marble exports reached $1.2 billion and uncut marble exports reached $800 million in the last year and he expected an increased 10 percent in 2017.

   He also stated that Turkey produced seven million tons of marble and exported 4 million tons.