AI Is Aiding Turkey’s Digital Revolution


By 2030, with the impact of AI, automation and digitisation, 8.9 million new jobs could be created, with a net gain of 1.3 million jobs

Country Spotlight Turkey

Advances in automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and digital technologies are changing how countries work, the activities performed, and the skills needed to progress and succeed. Catching this rapid transformation wave is of the utmost importance for nations today to ensure sustainable growth. When all the countries are drawing up strategies for AI development, Turkey, too, has not been left far behind.

A national agenda

In 2021, Turkey’s National Artificial Intelligence Strategy (NAIS)  was prepared in line with the Eleventh Development Plan and the Presidential Annual Program. The need for this strategy arose from the fact that the domain of AI technologies is rapidly transforming the institutional and the socio-economic structure and needs a clear-cut structure and framework to make the maximum utilisation of the technology and yet be prudent and responsible in its implementation. To realise this vision, the strategy paper laid down six priorities in line with national policies and international organisations’ recommendations.

The priorities included 24 objectives and 119 measures, in sync with the country’s vision of Digital Turkey and the National Technology Initiative. Turkey has a vision for itself in AI and the path it plans to take to embrace the technology and catapult itself into the global map of AI deployers. The government’s current target is to achieve the objectives by 2025, which will result in an increase in GDP, a rise in employment in the AI space, and ensure that Turkey is among the top 20 countries in international AI indices.

But not only the government is focused on AI development in the country, even private organisations are aligned with the government’s vision. They have been emphasising the need to support research activities, entrepreneurship, and innovation in the field to bolster the entire ecosystem.

The private sector has understood the essence of productivity growth driven by automation, AI, and digital technologies in different sections and occupations. Turkey’s 3rd largest private bank, Yapı Kredi, recently automated its customer care, operations, and consumer credit departments utilising RPA. Previously, agents would need to manually gather information from different systems and sources to address a customer query. But now, robots automatically pull together relevant information in one place. The deployed RPA robots helped the bank with several regulations, especially making controls, reconciliations during the night, raising flags, and pointing out suspect transactions. Several organisations today, are addressing the opportunities that can emerge to transform Turkey’s talent marketplace and the challenges that the country must overcome.

The future scope and  implementations

A report by McKinsey & Company states that “By 2030, with the impact of AI, automation, and digitisation, 8.9 million new jobs could be created in Turkey, with a net gain of 1.3 million jobs. In addition, 1.8 million jobs that currently do not exist could be created, many of them in technology-related sectors. To enable this change, 21.1 million people in the Turkish workforce will need to improve their skills by leveraging technology while remaining employed in their current jobs.”

Realising so, companies are now upskilling their workforce through different talent programs. Deloitte Turkey has been focusing on job-centric upskilling for new roles being added, with required training programs focused on employees in relevant positions, particularly to build new skills. Businesses are now focusing more on adding positions that require knowledge of data analytics, AI, and related technologies, with investments towards IT professionals.

With employees’ personal development areas identified, customised development programs using an analytical prediction model are implemented. AI is aiding the creation of new roles in the country, such as digital service designers, sustainable energy experts, cybersecurity specialists, and AI-assisted healthcare technicians.

Türk Telekom recently signed partnerships that aim to strengthen the local and national ecosystem and collaborate with the world’s leading technology companies. The company announced that it would cooperate with local companies to shape the future with 5G and new generation technologies. Through investments in cloud-native solutions that would power technologies such as IoT, 5G, edge computing, AI/ML, and not only for operators but also for enterprise businesses, Turkey aims to be Industry 4.0 ready.

To ensure the continued success of Turkey’s AI transformation, a common focal point and collective, concerted action are needed. It is critical that all stakeholders, including businesses, associations, and public institutions take the required actions. To develop even further, companies should not only prioritise AI but also support startup companies, as Turkey’s entrepreneurial startup ecosystem needs to shift towards AI.

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