ISTANBUL, HEART OF TURKEY A well-known Turkish proverb goes: "Winter does not come to Turkey unless it snows in Istanbul". Istanbul was the capital of the Ottoman Empire from 1453 until 1923. With the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, Ankara was declared the new capital. But in the following 94 years, the heart of Turkey continued to thrive in Istanbul. The data compiled from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK) and the Revenue Administration (GIB) provide concrete evidence for the central position Istanbul holds.

According to the TUIK’s end-2016 figures, Istanbul, which is home to %18.5 of Turkey's population, has the highest population in the country with 14 million 804 thousand people. That means, 1 in 5 people in Turkey lives in Istanbul.

On the other hand, March 2017 GIB data shows that out of 1 million 829 thousand 553 income taxpayers in Turkey, 487 thousand 174 are located in Istanbul. According to this, 1 in 4 income taxpayers in Turkey resides in Istanbul. In the same period, the corporate taxpayers in Turkey were 729 thousand 996, and 272 thousand 957 of them, which corresponds to %37.4, were hosted by Istanbul.

Last year, 529 billion 264 million TL of tax were collected out of 651 billion 822 million TL, making the tax collection rate %81.2. The amount of tax accrued in Istanbul was 280 billion 798 million TL, of which 234 billion 752 million TL was collected. In Istanbul, tax revenues accounted for %44.4 of the total accrual.

Also according to the TUIK data, last year Turkey exports amounted to $ 142.5 billion, while $ 76.2 billion, which is equivalent to %53.4 of the total exports, was provided by Istanbul. Last year, Turkey’s total import was worth $ 198.6 billion. Imports of Istanbul last year accounted for %58.4 of total imports with $ 116 billion. Hence, % 56 of Turkey's ($ 341 billion 162 million in total) foreign trade, which corresponds to $ 192 billion 178 million, was made by Istanbul.