Turkey’s seven major ports play a pivotal role in global maritime trade, connecting Europe and Asia and facilitating the movement of goods across various industries. From the historic Port of Istanbul, bridging two continents, to the energy-centric Port of Iskenderun and the versatile Port of Gemlik, these ports form a crucial part of Turkey’s economic landscape. Whether it’s the tourism-focused Port of Antalya or the gateway to the Black Sea, Port of Samsun, each port contributes to Turkey’s prominence in international trade. As the nation continues to invest in its maritime infrastructure, these ports are set to play an even more significant role in the future.

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Port of Istanbul



Latitude: 41.0277° N

Longitude: 28.9739° E

Size: The Port of Istanbul spans over 1500 acres.

Cargo Handling: It has a total cargo handling capacity of over 3 million TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) annually.

Other Information: The Port of Istanbul has multiple terminals, including Ambarli, Haydarpasa, Marport, and Kumport, each specializing in various types of cargo, including containers, general cargo, and bulk cargo.

The Gateway to Two Continents

The Port of Istanbul is in a special place in Turkey’s maritime sector because it is at the meeting point of Europe and Asia. It boasts a rich history dating back to ancient times when it served as a hub for the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Today, it continues to be a vital player in global trade, connecting Eastern and Western markets.

The Port of Istanbul serves as a major entry and exit point for various cargo types, including containers, bulk cargo, and petroleum products. Its strategic location along the Bosphorus Strait makes it an ideal choice for vessels transiting between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.

Port of Izmir


Latitude: 38.4237° N

Longitude: 27.1428° E

Size: The Port of Izmir covers an area of approximately 1,200 acres.

Cargo Handling: Over 1.5 million TEUs of cargo can be handled there every year, and it can handle different kinds of cargo, such as containers, general cargo, and Ro-Ro activities.

Other Information: Izmir’s port facilities are well-connected to industrial zones in the region, enhancing its role in the Turkish economy.

Aegean Gateway

Moving south along the Turkish coastline, we arrive at the Port of Izmir. Located on the Aegean Sea, this port is a key access point to the bustling Aegean region. Its significance lies in its ability to support various industries, including automotive, textiles, and chemicals.

The Port of Izmir has modern facilities that handle containers, general cargo, and Ro-Ro (roll-on/roll-off) operations efficiently. Its proximity to major industrial zones in Turkey enhances its importance in the country’s economy.

Port of Mersin



Latitude: 36.8460° N

Longitude: 34.6227° E

Size: The Port of Mersin is spread across more than 700 acres.

Cargo Handling: It handles a wide range of cargo types, with an annual capacity of over 4 million TEUs.

Other Information: Mersin serves as a key gateway for trade with the Middle East, making it a pivotal port for Turkey’s import and export activities.

Linking Turkey to the Middle East

Venturing to the southern coast, we encounter the Port of Mersin. Positioned on the Mediterranean Sea, this port plays a crucial role in facilitating trade between Turkey and the Middle East. Its location offers a competitive advantage in connecting Turkish products to the broader Arab world.

The Port of Mersin boasts state-of-the-art infrastructure, capable of handling various cargo types. It’s a key player in the import and export of goods like agricultural products, machinery, and chemicals.

Port of Antalya


Latitude: 36.8992° N

Longitude: 30.6804° E

Size: Antalya’s port area covers approximately 120 acres.

Cargo Handling: While it mainly caters to tourism and cruise ships, the port is gradually expanding its capacity for regional trade.

Other Information: Antalya’s scenic location and tourism industry contribute to its unique role as both a trade and leisure destination.

Where Tourism Meets Trade

Antalya, known for its stunning coastal beauty, is also home to the Port of Antalya. While it primarily serves the thriving tourism industry, this port has been expanding its role in regional trade. Cruise ships often dock here, bringing thousands of tourists to the region.

Turkey is becoming more and more popular as a tourist spot, and the Port of Antalya is very important to the tourism business. Moreover, its potential for facilitating trade is on the rise, thanks to ongoing infrastructure improvements.

Port of Iskenderun


Latitude: 36.5876° N

Longitude: 36.1606° E

Size: The Port of Iskenderun encompasses around 400 acres.

Cargo Handling: It specializes in handling energy-related cargo, including oil, natural gas, and coal, with a total capacity exceeding 12 million tons annually.

Other Information: Iskenderun’s role in the energy sector is crucial for Turkey’s energy supply chain.

Energy and Beyond

Moving east along the Mediterranean coast, we reach the Port of Iskenderun. This port is of paramount importance for Turkey’s energy sector, as it handles a significant portion of the country’s energy imports and exports. Iskenderun plays a crucial role in supplying energy resources to power the nation.

In addition to its work in the energy field, the Port of Iskenderun also helps other industries, like agriculture, steel, and cars. Its continuous development is essential for Turkey’s economic growth.

Port of Gemlik


Latitude: 40.4310° N

Longitude: 29.1915° E

Size: Gemlik port area covers approximately 200 acres.

Cargo Handling: It handles various cargo types, including containers and bulk cargo, with an annual capacity exceeding 500,000 TEUs.

Other Information: Gemlik’s strategic location on the Sea of Marmara facilitates efficient transportation to Istanbul and surrounding regions.

Versatility at its Best

The Port of Gemlik, situated on the Sea of Marmara, is known for its versatility in handling various types of cargo. From containers to bulk cargo, it efficiently manages the flow of goods, making it an integral part of Turkey’s logistics network.

Geographically, Gemlik’s location provides easy access to Istanbul and the industrial heartland of Turkey. This proximity enhances its value in connecting markets domestically and internationally.

Port of Samsun



Latitude: 41.2887° N

Longitude: 36.3300° E

Size: The Port of Samsun covers an area of around 180 acres.

Cargo Handling: It plays a significant role in connecting Turkey to the Black Sea region, handling various cargo types, including general cargo and bulk cargo.

Other Information: Recent infrastructure developments are expected to bolster Samsun’s position as a key trade gateway in the Black Sea.

Gateway to the Black Sea

Our journey concludes in the north, at the Port of Samsun. Positioned on the Black Sea coast, Samsun has historical significance as a key trade gateway. While it may not be as large as some other Turkish ports, it plays a crucial role in connecting Turkey to the Black Sea region and beyond.

Recent developments in Samsun’s infrastructure have positioned it as a potential growth hub for various industries. Its strategic location makes it an attractive option for companies looking to expand their presence in the Black Sea region.

Turkey’s seven major ports each offer a unique set of advantages, contributing to the country’s prominence in global maritime trade. These ports, strategically located across the Turkish coastline, serve as vital conduits for goods, connecting Turkey to the world and fostering economic growth. As Turkey keeps putting money into its maritime infrastructure, these ports will become even more important. This will strengthen Turkey’s place as a major player in the global maritime industry.

Related FAQs

Turkey’s maritime ports are strategically located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, making them essential hubs for global trade. They facilitate the movement of goods, connect various regions, and contribute significantly to Turkey’s economy.

Turkey has seven major ports that play key roles in different aspects of trade and commerce. These ports are located along the country’s diverse coastline, serving various industries and regions.

Turkey’s major ports support a wide range of industries, including automotive, textiles, chemicals, energy, tourism, and more. Each port specializes in handling specific cargo types, catering to the needs of various sectors.

These ports are vital for Turkey’s economic growth as they facilitate imports and exports, create jobs, and generate revenue. They also help improve the country’s global connectivity, attracting foreign investment and fostering economic development.

Yes, Turkey is continuously investing in the development and modernization of its maritime infrastructure. These ports are undergoing upgrades and expansions to meet the increasing demands of global trade, ensuring they remain competitive and relevant in the future.

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