Turkeys clothing and textile sector is mainly in the west of the country

Turkey's clothing and textile sector is mainly in the west of the country

Turkish security sources are advising textile and clothing manufacturers in Turkey that the country remains a safe and secure country in which to operate, despite the crackdown following the attempted coup last month. Likewise, local and international players in the apparel and textile industry are noting that business continues to run smoothly.

Concerns over the safety of operating in Turkey have grown following the attempted coup on 15 July. Since then, more than 15,000 people have been detained, including 178 military generals. Before the coup, Turkey had suffered from a series of terrorist bombing attacks such as the blast at Istanbul Ataturk airport that killed 41 people on 29 June, while the arrest of security personnel has generated concern about Turkey's ability to prevent further terrorist attacks.

However, Sevim Örs, sales and marketing representative at Turkish textiles manufacturer Metyx Composites, says: "Everything in Turkey is fine now. There is no problem for citizens and also foreigners."

Her words were echoed by Alaettin Cangoz, operations director at Turkish security firm Esfor Security Consulting, who says: "There is no direct threat to foreign residents or business travellers because of [the] latest coup attempt. Even during the coup attempt, no foreigner was targeted."

That said, Congoz adds that foreign clothing sector visitors to border areas near Syria and Iraq should exercise special care because of political and security unrest in these regions. "The security situation in the border area with Syria and Iraq [means travel] should be restricted to the very, very essential trips. Other parts of Turkey are OK; be more vigilant [and] stay away from public gatherings, will be our advice."

The bulk of Turkey's clothing and textile sector is, of course, in the west of the country, far from the troubles. It is in the Adana the cotton growing region, north of the Syrian border, where security issues could pose difficulties.

The Istanbul Textile and Apparel Exporter Association (IHKIB), along with other textile and clothing association and companies, has released a statement backing Turkish democracy calling the attempted coup a "black mark" on Turkish history. The statement said "the Turkish textile and apparel industries highlight our belief in democracy."

IHKIB president Hikmet Tanriverdi has also predicted that garment exports will rebound again from September onwards. He admitted garment exports in the first half of 2016 had been slightly depressed because of the government response to terror attacks within Turkey, calling controls "a hitch…for security reasons." He said the Turkish clothing sector was aiming to earn US$18bn from exports this year, nonetheless.

While other UK clothing and textile sources were reluctant to comment openly on such a sensitive issue, one told just-style: "I have not seen any effect of [the] coup. [We have] only shipped out one consignment since and it went OK."

In addition, despite an initial 5% drop in the value of the Turkish lira against the US dollar following the coup, the currency has since rebounded to reach a value of US$0.33 per lira.

With additional reporting by Keith Nuthall.