Clocks in Turkey will be advanced by one hour at the end of March 2013 for the last time, set to stay that way permanently thereafter. This change will bring Turkey one hour closer to the eastern time zones, distancing it from European time by one hour. The share of Turkish exports to Europe has dropped to 47 percent.
The Ministry of Energy still plans to move back the clocks by one hour this coming October, as usual. This will be the last time this takes place, and in March 2013, the clocks will be advanced again and Turkey will be permanently stay within that time zone.
This means that during the winter period [October-March], the time difference between Turkey and Europe will be two hours, while in the summer period [March-October] it will be one hour.
When asked if the change will affect trade with Europe, Energy Ministry sources said: ”We are not only trading with Europe. Our trade with China and Korea is growing, and there is the possibility of a major increase in trade with India. Our exports to Europe are shrinking. In 2007, 60 percent of our exports were to Europe. In 2011 this declined to 47 percent. On the other hand exports to the Far East, which were 4.8 percent of the total, went up to 7.5 percent in 2011. Likewise the share of our exports to Middle Eastern countries went up from 14 to 18 percent.”
There are major increases in exports to Iraq, which will now be in the same time zone as Turkey. Iran will be a half-hour ahead. In 2007, Turkey exported $2.8 billion dollars worth of goods to Iraq. This rose to $ 8.3 billion last year. What’s more, despite embargo pressures, exports to Iran went up from $2.4 billion to $ 3.5 billion.
With the new time zone rules, the difference with European countries will be two hours. That means if you fly out from Istanbul at 7 AM, you will be in Berlin at 8 AM after a three hour flight.