Anatolian Tigers

A colloquial term that refers to a number of cities in central Turkey whose industrial prowess since the 1980s has resulted in impressive growth rates for the region and nation. Anatolian tigers include prominent cities such as Gaziantep, Kayseri and Konya, which have the most number of firms among Turkey's 500 biggest companies.

The term is also used to refer to the many successful entrepreneurs from these cities, as well as to the emerging Turkish middle class.

The success of the cities that constitute the "Anatolian Tigers" can be traced back to the economic liberalization programs that were initiated in Turkey from 1980. These cities flourished despite receiving little state investment or subsidies, as the economic reforms unleashed a wave of entrepreneurship. Turkey's strong growth since 1980 has been mainly powered by the Anatolian tigers. The nation's exports grew from about $209 billion in 1980 to $35 billion in 2002, while per capita GDP quadrupled from $2,242 to $9,073 over the same period.


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