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It’s looking like a billion-dollar year for Turkish jewelry exports. And if new sales and production initiatives meet with the success that everyoneexpects, that number will be seen in a few years as an important steppingstone to the greater goal of becoming the largest gold jewelry exporter in the world.

To reach that target, the industry has recently taken several significant steps to increase both its production and its profile. Already, some of these have borne fruit as seen by the gains in exports in the last 12 months.”Since 2001,” reports Murat Akman, the head of the Istanbul office of the World Gold Council, “every quarter has been better than the same quarter of the year before – or 15 consecutive quarters.” For 2005, that means Turkey exported nearly $772 million worth of jewelrythrough September, the last month for which figures are available. That was an increase of nearly 17 percent over the last year, and a strong indicator that the total will push past the billion dollar mark by the end of the year.