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23 Feb 2023

Laura Husband, Just Style

Turkey: Nearly a third of apparel & textile workers located in region impacted by earthquakes

"Plea for help: Third of apparel, textile workers affected by Türkiye earthquakes", 23 February 2023

IInternational Apparel Federation (IAF) president and Turkish Clothing Manufacturers’ Association (TGSD) vice-chair, Cem Altan, reveals the significant impact of Türkiye's recent earthquakes on the apparel industry...

Almost three weeks on from Türkiye’s devastating earthquakes, Altan has revealed almost a third (between 20% and 35%) of workers in the apparel and textile industries are employed in the region and is urging international apparel and textile partners to donate to the TGSD.

In fact, he says 1,616 garment and 1,290 textile companies operate within the 11 provinces that were affected, with the apparel sector employing almost 150,000 workers and nearly 200,000 people working in the textile industry.

He explains: “TGSD will be supporting this region by donating containers, and wants to decrease the social impact by creating a working environment.”

He adds that donations will serve the ultimate goal of providing employment in the region, and will help to start manufacturing again in full capacity.

“We really appreciate your donation contributions to TGSD. Having a house and a place to work will definitely help improve living standards and normalise processes in the region.”...

Main industries affected by Türkiye earthquakes are textile and apparel


He says there are garment factories in Malatya, Elazığ, Şanlıurfa and Adıyaman and textile mills in Kahramanmaraş and Gaziantep, however the impact on other factories located in Malatya, Elazığ, Şanlıurfa Kahramanmaraş and Adıyaman are minor.

Thankfully, infrastructure systems in industrial zones are mostly in good condition and the factories are usually in industrial zones with single-storey buildings. For this reason the devastating effect of earthquakes is less on production plants than it is on residential buildings.

Short-term production cuts for Türkiye apparel industry

Short-term production cuts are inevitable for the apparel industry following Türkiye earthquakes, he suggests however all stakeholders are working together to restart plants for social reasons as well as economical reasons.

He points out that infrastructure-wise, the government has started to supply water, electricity and natural gas to some cities, towns, and industrial zones and airports are in operation.

In fact, manufacturing has already started in some factories in Malatya, Elazığ and Şanlıurfa, and Altan explains that in the short-run, Turkish textile and garment industries will use their excess production capacity built in 2021 and 2022...