New "silicon valley" to be established near Istanbul
Turkey's own version of Silicon Valley will be based between Kocaeli and Istanbul, according to Industry and Trade Minister Nihat Ergun. Speaking ahead of the World Productivity Congress and European Productivity Conference in Antalya which began on Wednesday, Ergun said the valley will be established over an area of 1,100-plus acres in Turkey's most industrialized region. Ergun said the plan will be brought to fruition once his ministry finishes preparations. When the valley is established, some of the 180 projects developed as part of state-sponsored technology initiatives are expected to be completed and implemented there. One such initiative attracting much attention is a project that will enable consumers to buy metro, bus, ferry and flight tickets directly from their cell phones. Ergun said several leading GSM companies are very interested in the project. On Monday Ergun toured California's Silicon Valley and discussed his plans with American officials. In his opening speech at the conference, Ergun said if Turkey can increase its productivity by 3 percent each year until 2023, the centenary of the Turkish Republic, it will become one of the world's 10 largest economies. "Our gross domestic product (GDP) per capita will exceed $20,000," he added. Lauding Turkey's economic performance over the past year, Ergun further predicted that Turkey's GDP growth this year will reach 7 percent, up from an estimated 6.8 percent.