A Century of Turkish Republic and the Heritage of Metal Packaging
We just celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic on October 29th. Turkiye rose from its ashes with a commitment to progress after being founded in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. I think it’s important to reflect on its remarkable journey and the industries that have contributed to it. Packaging is certainly one of those industries and in this blog post, I will give you a glimpse of specifically the metal packaging history in Turkey and its lasting heritage.
The Turkish Republic was founded a century ago on principles of modernization and innovation. Turkiye started its journey of transformation trying to meet the challenges of the modern world. Economic growth and industrialism were among the pillars of this ambitious vision.
The use of metal packaging in Turkiye started years later than in Europe and America. Although Turkish metal packaging began with humble origins, it followed the country's transformation over the years. The earliest recorded mention of can makers in Istanbul can be found in the famous Turkish explorer Evliya Chelebi’s book, Seyahatname (Book of Travels), dating back to the 1630s.
Up until the 1970s, the number of manufacturers increased but most of the tin cans were still manufactured by smaller shops or manufacturers of oil and preserved food that had to manufacture their own cans even though the government supported the growth of many similar workshops of all sorts during the early years of the Republic.
Over the past 100 years of the Republic, Turkiye has experienced tremendous growth and modernization. The metal packaging industry is no exception, especially during the second part of the 20th century. The basic containers manufactured in the early years were for food preservation or distribution and later on with the advancement in technology and changing market demands, a wide range of metal packaging was able to be manufactured.
The number of Turkish manufacturers of all kinds of tin cans went up until the 2000s. However, the fierce competition and capital constraints combined led to many companies ceasing their operations. Despite the challenges, the remaining companies persevered and evolved diversifying their offerings within their product range.
Turkish metal packaging has experienced significant growth in recent years. Trade wars, the pandemic, fast-changing market conditions, and the need for reliable, good-quality manufacturing have led clients to pick Turkish manufacturers for their metal packaging needs. Having two tinplate manufacturers locally combined with the growth of domestic industries that use metal packaging such as food, cosmetics, and chemicals have also further fueled this growth.
Additionally, environmental sustainability and circular economy are globally important topics right now and look like they will be for a while, and metal packaging is known for being infinitely recyclable. With Turkiye closely following EU regulations, all packaging manufacturers are committed to sustainability and join international efforts to reduce environmental impact.
In short, the history of Turkish metal packaging is a story of continuous progress which shows the spirit of Turkish entrepreneurs. The metal packaging industry will continue to contribute to the growth of Turkiye as we move toward the future and we sure will be doing our part too.
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Ercan Oner, “2. BÖLÜM TÜRKİYE’DE TENEKE AMBALAJ SANAYİSİNİN GELİŞİMİ” Ustadan Ciraga Bir Gelenek, Turk Teneke Ambalaj Sanayii Tarihi, 2014, accessed October 29, 2023, https://teneketarihi.com/turkiyede-teneke-ambalaj-sanayisinin-gelisimi/.