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The chemical industry is one of the fastest developing industries in Turkey. At the beginning of the 20th century, there were a few chemical establishments producing soap, liquorice extract, valonia extract, etc., within the boundaries of the Ottoman Empire. After the establishment of the Republic of Turkey until the 1950's, these chemical works passed through a process of corporation and production involving the final stages only. Later, they started in some fields such as explosives, medicines, agriculture chemicals, detergents, printing ink and textile dyes. It was only after the 1950's, especially during the planned economy period, that the development of the chemical industry in Turkey gained momentum. In the period between 1960 and 1980, economic policies were based on import substitution. Public sector investments were directed to petrochemicals, fertilizers and basic organic and inorganic chemicals, fields which need high investment cost but have low profitability whereas, private sector and foreign investments were directed to pharmaceuticals, synthetic yarns, soap and detergents. In 1980, Turkey started to follow a new outward-oriented economy policy. As a result, the manufacturing sector, and exports in particular, boomed with these successful economic stabilization policies. The chemical industry, which benefited from the new economic policy, showed an impressive increase in exports.

At present, Turkey has a well established petrochemical and fertilizer industry and the sector has achieved considerable success in the production of various inorganic and organic chemicals. Chemical production has accounted for 5.7% in the total manufacturing industry in 1994 and the exports of the chemical sector was $1.060 million US.

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