Dear Members

Given its high value-added products, contribution to employment, exporting capabilities and its ability to generate net foreign exchange income, apparel industry has been one of the most critical sectors of Türkiye. Since early 80s, our industry has been the leader in investments, job creation, manufacturing capacity and exports. The sector has reached a size of USD 65 billion and has had exports exceeding USD 21 billion in 2022. Moreover, the apparel industry employs almost 750 thousand people in Türkiye.

We have been agile enough to rapidly adapt to changes and conditions in the global landscape. Over the past four decades, we have successfully survived at least three substantial transformations. We have recently gone through another transformation period accelerated by the pandemic. During this period, apparel manufacturers had to take “stay or exit” decision. If they continue operating, apparel manufacturers had to undertake large-scale investments to renovate all processes, so that they could cope with the requirements of digital and green transformations. In the meanwhile, companies operating in our sector had to be resilient enough to keep operating until such investments generate returns over a relatively longer period of time.

In the face of such intense investment needs, productivity would be the key determinant of competitive power. Therefore, apparel manufacturers must maximize efficiency through digitalization of all business processes.

The sector had operated under the ‘Partner Integrated System’. However, new market conditions are more challenging and require the apparel manufacturers to shift to ‘Fully Integrated System’ model. Our businesses now have to be transformed to fully integrated structures. We should design our organizational structures based on this reality.

In a nutshell, we are facing a challenging period of transformation. During this process, we should re-think and re-invent our business processes and develop new business models that would bring sustainable growth. We should engage in long-term partnerships with customers based on value-creation. We should refocus on business models that can generate high-value-added products and we should move away from business strategies based on price-competition.

While consolidating business processes within our organizations, we should make our organizational structures more flexible and agile. Especially, we have to increase all forms of flexibility in meeting customer demands. All of these tasks, including high value-added production, can only be achieved with the support of a highly skilled workforce. Therefore, maintaining a qualified workforce should be our priority more than ever before.

As TGSD, we will continue to provide guidance to our industry, members, and companies in this critical transformation process, just as we have done in the past. We will shape the activities of the new period within this framework. We will be the ambassador of our industry in conveying the needs arising from this transformation process to the public authorities to get necessary support. We will encourage and inform our companies to prepare long-term programs. We will continue to prioritize immediate needs and goals.

Turkish apparel industry distinguishes itself from its competitors through its design power, unique collections, fast fashion capabilities, and high quality. In our second term, one of our top priorities as co-chairmen, will be to continue to promote the sector’s strengths and potential more effectively on a global scale, especially in Europe and across the USA.

In line with our founding purpose and philosophy, TGSD supports the sector with global awareness. At the heart of our global consciousness lies the fundamental principle that one’s labor should be valued irrespective of gender. Through our ‘Joint Presidency System’ that we initiated with the 23rd General Assembly, we not only declared but also put into practice the principle of gender equality. We continue this practice in the new term as an example and source of inspiration for civil society organizations in different sectors.

In this challenging but equally honorable and prideful duty, your solidarity is our greatest source of motivation, and your views and suggestions will be our guide. With the belief that you will continue to support us in the new term, we once again extend our gratitude to you all.


Ramazan KAYA                                                                   Sanem DİKMEN
Co-Chair, 24th Term Co-Chair, 24th Term