New work on Turkey…innovating Turkish companies…Istanbul’s Karakoy neighborhood…
Istanbul- Recently, I wrote about how Turks are coming back from abroad in search of jobs, bringing skills and education with them.
But what kind of work awaits them in Turkey?
The country is not known for producing much innovation or unique ideas. However, that is changing. As I describe in this article for the emerging markets magazine business new europe (bne), some companies in Turkey are focusing on the unique.
From the article:
Turkey is known more for copying ideas and products that originate in western countries than for innovation. But a young, increasingly skilled population, together with a developing venture capital industry, is changing this stereotype.
In the past, cargo ships unloaded in Karakoy, a bustling waterfront district in central Istanbul known for its brothels that served the sailors. Even in Muslim Turkey, consecutive governments lauded Matild Manukyan, the Armenian women who owned 32 of the legal brothels. During the 1990s, she was Istanbul’s top taxpayer five years in a row; in 1992 alone, she reportedly paid $1.2m to the city – a massive amount in Turkey, where shrinking the grey economy is among the government’s top economic priorities.
However, with Manukyan’s death in 2001, the brothels closed and Karakoy became a desolate neighbourhood of architecturally quaint, but ill-kept buildings. Until recently that is – today, a growing number of small businesses are setting up shop and the neighbourhood is fast becoming the city’s new creative hotspot.