Turkish Silicon Valley in Gebze to open this month

You are right that there needs to be more than just infrastructure.

That said, Turks have (for example) the highest rate of adoption for online banking in the world. You are natural early adopters of technology, very digitally native as a population.

There certainly are technical skills present in your population. I don't have exact numbers on this, but I worked with quite a few Turkish developers in Berlin.

Similarly I get a sense of entrepreneurship in the population. There's a Startup Turkey and a Startup Istanbul conference that runs (I believe) annually, and tends to have a strong turnout. That includes national and international investors.

All considered, I believe Turkey is vast and promising market for tech. Certainly financial technology, and social tech aimed at a domestic audience. I think the missing catalyst for this probably was lack of infrastructure, rather than lack of will.

I wish the Turkish government invested more in government sponsored co-working spaces and incubation/acceleration programs, grants and so on - rather than going so big on a project like this. The Gebze site is only really going to be interesting for new corporate offices, corporate innovation centres, or research projects. It is not going to help nurture entrepreneurship.

Perhaps they can turn chunk of the site into a live-in style incubator for tech startups, where they support the teams and partner with the sites corporate tenants for some mutual benefit.

Anyway, I think the news is the sign of something moving in the right direction, even if it perhaps isn't what I see as the perfect solution.

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