Science and technology in Turkey

From Wikipedia

Science and technology in Turkey is centrally planned by TÜBİTAK and in responsibility of universities and research institutes. Research and development activities in Turkey show a significant jump in recent years. [1] Turkey was ranked 51st in the Global Innovation Index in 2020, it has increased its ranking considerably since 2011, where it was ranked 65th. [2] [3] [4]


Ottoman Empire

Modern Turkey

Trends in national innovation system, 2015–2019

In 2017, business-funded research and development (R&D) exceeded that funded by the government and higher education sectors combined, for the first time, although most business-funded investment goes towards military and dual-use technologies. For instance, the leading Turkish firm for the number of patents is the principal military industry conglomerate Aselsan; it owns 54% of all resident patents, compared to just 17% for the leading patent-owner in Israel, Teva Pharmaceuticals. [5]

The Turkish Exporters Assembly has reported that defence and aerospace was the leading sector in terms of export growth in the first five months of 2019, according to a press release by the Anatolia Agency on 5 June 2019. [5]

A growing share of business-funded R&D is being driven by tax incentives, the sectoral composition of which is determined by the government. However, this trend mainly concerns innovation in manufacturing, which is open to competition largely thanks to the Customs Union with the EU in effect since 1996. [5]

Research funding from abroad has, indeed, progressed to about 3.5% of total research spending in 2017, up from 2% in 2015. [5]

The prevailing sentiment in academic circles, however, is that there is a mismatch between the level of public support for innovation and the amount of innovation in the economy. This sentiment is shared by Prof. Hasan Mandal, the head of T.BITAK, who notes the insufficiency and lack of focus of public support given to development ‘from prototypes to production’. He admits that there has been an ‘insufficient connection of R&D efforts to the needs of final consumers and needs analyses'. [6] [5]

More importantly, firms in the services and construction sectors, which accounted for 63.5% of GDP in 2018, remain largely shielded from competition. Even those that treat innovation as an afterthought remain profitable. They can afford to ignore the government’s support programmes for R&D and manufacturing-focused innovation. [5]

The low returns that researchers can expect for their efforts are impeding the development of the national innovation system. Although patent applications by Turkish inventors have been growing, as have granted patents, available evidence suggests that inventive activity in Turkey is largely disconnected from global collaboration networks. [5]

For the first time since 2002, scientific output declined by 5.2% between 2016 and 2018. Publications continue to exhibit low international co-authorship and citation rates. [5]

Meanwhile, tertiary enrolment has grown rapidly. To accommodate this new influx, no fewer than 30 universities were founded between 2016 and 2019, 20 of which are public institutions. By 2018, the gross enrolment ratio was 109.5%, and the number of doctoral students had risen by 22% to 95 100 since 2015. [7] [5]

However, the unemployment rate among university graduates increased from 10.3% in 2008 to 12.7% in 2017. Just 2% of university entrants study natural sciences or mathematics, statistics and computer science in Turkey, compared to an average of 6% and 5%, respectively, in other OECD countries. [7] [5]

The pursuit of science and innovation in Turkey continues to be a largely government-driven endeavour. The heavy focus on defence-related capabilities is not likely to generate a significant spillover to the rest of the economy. [5]


Research Institutes

Technical Universities

Taşkışla campus of Istanbul Technical University
Maçka campus of Istanbul Technical University

There are seven universities in Turkey which are dedicated to engineering, technology and sciences.

Technology Universities


Notable scientists from Turkey

See also


This article incorporates text from a free content work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO Text taken from UNESCO Science Report: the Race Against Time for Smarter Development, UNESCO, UNESCO publishing. To learn how to add open license text to Wikipedia articles, please see this how-to page. For information on reusing text from Wikipedia, please see the terms of use.


  1. ^ Tübitak
  2. ^ "Release of the Global Innovation Index 2020: Who Will Finance Innovation?". Retrieved 2021-09-02.
  3. ^ "Global Innovation Index 2019". Retrieved 2021-09-02.
  4. ^ "RTD - Item". Retrieved 2021-09-02.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Eröcal, D. and I. Yegorov (2021) Countries in the Black Sea Basin. In UNESCO Science Report: the Race Against Time for Smarter Development. Schneegans, S.; Straza, T. and J. Lewis (eds). UNESCO Publishing: Paris
  6. ^ Mandal, H. (2018) Turkey will Focus on its National Targets. TÜBITAK, 7 July.
  7. ^ a b Erdoğmuş, N. (2019) Geleceğin Türkiyesinde Yüksek.ğretim (Higher Education in Tomorrow’s Turkey). ILKE Publishing: Istanbul.