Photo courtesy of Termal Seramik

Photo courtesy of Kale Seramik

As one of the largest ceramic producers and exporters in the world, Turkey increases its market share every year by blending multicultural and multifaceted historical riches of Anatolia with modern designs and technology. Ceramic production know-how in Turkey inherited through adding up different techniques, was developed by different civilizations over 8,000 years. Although Turkey has a long history of ceramic production, the ceramic industry started in the late 50s with the launch of private companies, such as Vitra and Çanakkale Ceramic.

The Turkish ceramic sector today has reached the $2 billion mark in trade volume and approximately $1 billion exportation volume. Ceramic tile constitute the main product category when compared to sanitary ware and other ceramic products. Turkey used to import almost all sanitary ware products until the 60s; however after the 90s, the sector gained in growth and today Turkey is the largest sanitary ware producer in Europe.

Photo courtesy of Seranit

From 1996 to 2007, tile production and capacity increased significantly, with exportation showing exponential growth. EU countries are where Turkey realizes half of its ceramic tile exportation. More than 24 firms produce ceramic tiles and more than 31 firms exist in sanitary ware ceramic sector in Turkey. Today, Vitra is the world’s biggest factory with 4 million quantity fully integrated production capacity.

Since the 60s, Turkish ceramics has accomplished great success and has become the preferred source for technology and design. When we look at the trends of the last years, large format tiles and those that mimic natural stone remain high in demand.

According to Bahadır Kayan, president of the Turkish Ceramics Promotion Group, the “Turkish ceramic sector is perceived to be the third biggest sector in the world. For professional buyers, when considering price, performance and excellence, Turkish ceramics immediately follow Italy and Spain. Today Turkish ceramics are being exported to more than 120 countries.”

Kayan adds, “Canada and USA are two important markets for Turkey. Both countries do not and will not prefer local ceramic production. Before the economical crisis, the American market was expanding at a rate of 10% or higher annually. Yet, despite the situation, the American market has to be traced closely since it’s still a strong importer. Especially in the U.S., there had been serious amendments in the distribution channels. It is been expected that the American market will get over with the recession and stagnation through the end of 2009. So we have to be well prepared to this new market circumstances.”

Mercan Dede

Turkish Ceramics' Event at Cersaie: Mercan Dede

Turkish Ceramics is organizing another huge event during Cersaie 2009, in Bologna, Italy. Following last year’s success of the Shaman Dance Show and Fire of Anatolia in 2007, Turkish Ceramics will be presenting “Mercan Dede” in the main plaza of Bologna, Piazza Maggiore, September 30 at 8 p.m.

Mercan Dede creates a universal language, capable of uniting old and young, ancient and modern, East and West by putting digital, electronic sounds together with handmade and human sounds. As Dede, a Turkish-born musician/producer/DJ takes the stage with his band, he hovers at the side behind his turntables and electronics, occasionally picking up a traditional wooden flute, or ney to float in sweet, breathy melodies, while masters of the kanun (zither), clarinet, darbuka (hand drum) and whatever other instruments he’s decided to include that night, ornament his grooves with magical and trance-inducing melodies -- matching the whirling of the group’s dervish dancers. The contrast between electronica and classical/folkloric art cuts to the core of the Sufi philosophy that guides this one-of-a-kind artist.

Also of note are the eight Turkish ceramic companies that will be exhibiting their latest designs and technologies during the Cersaie fair. They include: Termal Ceramic; Ege Ceramic; Hitit Ceramic, Vitra, Canakkale Ceramic, Kutahya Ceramic, Ercan Ceramic and Seranit. The office of the Turkish Ceramics will be located at Hall Michelino, 1st floor, Hall 36, No:3.

For additional details, please visit,, or contact or