Turkish Automotive History

The Ottoman Period

electrical car by DavidsonCars and automotive-related developments have begun in the last period of the Ottoman Empire. The first car in Istanbul was during the ruling period of Sultan Abdul Hamid (1876-1909) and seen at Beyoglu-Istiklal Avenue,  just on display in a shop for months and it was the target of the gaze of curious people of Istanbul.
However, in the Ottoman archives, some letters and documents found recently, show that the first "electrical" car, manufactured by an English, Robert Davidson, was ordered by Sultan Abdul Hamid, in 1888 and the car imported from England. Due to bomb placed under the car of Sultan Abdul Hamid, it was not allowed to import any kind of motor vehicule until the end of his reign (1909).

The first gasoline-powered car in Istanbul, was at the time of Galata quay opening in 1895, and imported by Ahmed Pasha, a member of the State Council, where the first public debut of the Renault-Landaulet  brand car, with its opening and closing the rear blower, was in the district of Fenerbahçe at Kalamis-Istanbul. The two beautiful girls of the Pasha in this sports car were the first woman drivers of Istanbul...

The first car accident  was in 1912, at Sisli Mosque at Sisli,  by a driver of the Italian Embassy fleeing an Albanian citizens and was arrested by the police.

A short time later, the boys first thing became to import a car from Europe and these vehicles were ordered to London or Paris. As those cars were made for the European roads, with poorly maintained and narrow roads of Istanbul, were often broken down by leaving axes or wheels.Mercedes 1914-50HP

After a period of time, dignitaries of the states started to ride in the car ... Some cars were allocated Ministers and the Grand Vizier... However, in 1914, the most popular cars were belong to the Grand Vizier Mahmud Sevket Pasha and Defense Minister Enver Pasha. These two powerful Pasha had prefered the German's Mercedes, instead of the American Ford and French Renault, which were most popular to the public...

Cars curiosity of the public reflected in the Palace. The latest fashion catalogs of the car producers and automobile factories in Europe and America were continuously sent to the Sultans and crown princes. As the palace, for years, complained of wasteful equestrian reign cars of, that was an opportunity for Sultan Reşad and Sultan Vahideddin and the first and last Ottoman rulers were met by the car…

With the late acquaintance with the car, only women and patients were allowed to enjoy. The people was reluctant to take or drive car for a long time as long as they are not sick and infirm... At the Ottoman period, the transport industry has developed around Sarachane district of Istanbul. The first major initiative for industrial and technical schools were established during Mithat Pasha period who, later established an on-site factory. At that time, the technology and science graduates from schools with a high degree of education, were sent to Europe, and have contributed to the Development of the Automotive Industry.

After realizing the military importance of the automotive industry, military trucks began to be imported. Having realized the importance of national initiatives and developments in the automotive industry, followed one another. In 1916, the establishment of the Ottoman Transportation Company, has an important place in the development of the automotive industry in our country.

Republican Period

After the establishment of the Turkish Republic, the Government to revive the port of Istanbul between 1927-1928, has supported the establishment of free trade zone and as a result, a 25-year agreement was signed with the Ford Motor Company. In Tophane District, 450 employees began working with Ford Motor Company. In 1931, 48 daily produced trucks and cars had began to be exported. However, with the economic crisis of the 1930s, it came to the end.
Unfortunately, very few visual material could be obtained for this factory.

Increasing demand for agricultural products, agricultural tools directed to ensure adequate supply. Tractors and other agricultural machines were presented for human use, age of horse-drawn vehicles and passenger cars that transport was the most common tools.

Such as the conversion of imported vans minibuses bright future of the automotive industry had shown that retrofits. In 1952, foreign industrialists began to come to Turkey to sign partnership agreements with the local industrialists.
In 1954, Jeep models were suitable for use in agriculture for the production and the Turkish Willys Overland Jeep Factory was established at Tuzla in Turkey and Büssing trucks with military jeeps and vans were crafted.
Commercial truck production was started in 1955. Founded in 1955, the staff of the Federal Turkey Trucks Inc. at Çayırova Federal Assembly and began to manufacture trucks with the brand.
In the meantime, the efforts for the development of the agricultural industry continued until 1961. In 1956, Minneapolis-Moline Tractor and Agricultural Machinery Turkey started its operations in Turkey by the Turkish Aeronautical Association, and the first aircraft engine factory was built. Also plant to produce tractors and agricultural machinery was transferred to Mechanical and Chemical Industry Joint Stock company.
Otosan; Ford Motor Company and Koç Group in 1959, was established at the initiative of the first steps have been taken in terms of automobile production-oriented investments.
The Otosan factory in Turkey in 1960 was working with Ford Thames truck production together with Ford Consul car and light commercial vehicle Ford Transit went into production in 1967.
In 1962, the Federal Turkey Trucks Inc has been aquired by OYAK Inc. in partnership with the International Harvester Truck, Bus, Minibus, Tractor, Truck, Pick-Up and Reo Military Vehicles by brand chassis, radiator, gas tank, and the frame buffer, which will produce intermediate material (TOE Turkish Automotive Industry) was founded.
In 1963, the Bus Body Co., Ltd. Magirus buses started to be realized by the installation.

Period in 1961 by order of President Cemal Gursel Eskisehir State Railways Plant in Turkey by Turkish engineers completely designed and produced the first car developed at the request of the revolution but he also was named to the vehicle: Devrim (Revolution). At that time, 135 days, in a country that cannot produce even a needle, was a very short time with extremely limited resources, such as the Turkish-made car completely developed, that four units were produced for the three different types of automobiles manufactured. The declaration of the engineers was as follows:" The Turks can not produce cars! "Mentality refuted, thinking back has been defeated. We can assert that the more robust of the Revolution, the investment is no longer a matter of making more beautiful. To decide this issue in the government  encourage us to see. Constructive criticism is always ready. There is no personal stake in it. Our goal is to our develop the country. The Great Turkish People to appreciate... "
“Devrim” deserved the same attention to invest in car, unfortunately, could not see and did not go to mass production. However, the private sector and encouraging them has fueled the idea of ​​car manufacturing.

At mid-1960s TOE, started to the unsuccessful negotiations with Volvo, but  later car manufacturing company Triumph reached a licensing agreement with TOE in partnership with the 'Victory' brand started to work on the domestic automobile production. First sedan model, then the model of the station wagon and pick-up are thought to produce some of the people and environments of the vehicle, while the promotion stage production dropped due to pressure.

Otosan, by the year 1966, prepared by the British Reliant company and, in principle prototype fiberglass-bodied two-door, all the mechanical parts from Ford, the automobile Anadol name began to produce a result of a competition.
In 1968 , Koç Group made their second aotomotive investment with Italian Fiat S.p.a., TOFAŞ which started in 1971 with the production of Murat 124 (Fiat 124). The production of Murat 131 (Fiat 131 in 1971 strated and continued with the various types of 131.
In 1969, OYAK has made a joint-venture with French Renault, OYAK-RENAULT, and started the production of Renault 12 in 1971.
By 1985, Ford Taunus models of Otosan, Renault 9 model of Oyak Renault have begun to production. Two years later, in 1987, Turkey's first hatchback model, the Renault 11 bands out and the first diesel engine installed in the Anadol Pick-up by Otosan.
In 1989, Renault 12 series of amendments to the engine and body, and by 2000 the production of the Taurus model continued transformed. Renault 21 Renault started to produce top-class model in the 90s. Opel and Toyota Corolla, the road was the first domestic production.
TOE in 1993 and Genoto factories in 1995 have been closed down.
In 1997, as the first domestic production of the Honda Civic and Hyundai Accent production appeared.

Turkey has started to produce in the sports car. Etox, the second sports car produced after STC-16 of Anadol in Turkey. Other sports cars produced by the clover-Onuk Shipyards "Onuk Carp" and "Onuk S-56" from the prototype stage Automobiles. There is also a hand-made entrepreneur "Diardi" produced cars.
Truck company established in Gaziantep in 2007 Folkvan herald branded vans began manufacturing and assembly.

As of today, apart from the above mentioned companies, the following automotive factories, member of OSD (Automotive Producers Association of Turkey) are the main producers in Turkey:  

  • Anadolu-ISUZU
  • B.M.C
  • FORD
  • Hattat
  • Honda
  • Hyundai-ASSAN
  • Karsan
  • M.A.N
  • Mercedes Benz
  • Otokar
  • OYAK-Renault
  • TEMSA-Mitsubishi
  • Toyota
  • Türk Traktör