As already reported in Label & Narrow Web, the 2009 FINAT congress will be held in Turkey, and co-hosted by the Turkish Label Association ESD. Turkey’s population of 73 million places it third biggest in Europe, after Russia and Germany. To what extent Turkey is “in Europe” or not is a hot potato in European politics – and that could be one amongst several reasons why Turkey’s label sector is anxious to put itself firmly onto the European map in time for the 2009 FINAT congress. ESD was founded just 10 years ago and today counts over 50 members. Association president Aydin Okay aims to bring membership up to 75 and to attract over 1,000 visitors to the 2009 congress – which would make it FINAT’s biggest ever.
Turkey has no home-grown machinery manufacturers supplying the narrow web sector, and all the major press manufacturers have been jostling their way into the hearts and minds of Turkey’s label converters. Italy’s Omet in particular has notched up several successes with four flexo presses installed within the past year, including two sold to SPS Labels in Istanbul. Turkey is also home to one of Europe’s leading producers of film for labels – Polinas; and late in 2007 Avery Dennison installed a slitting and distribution center, also in Istanbul, to cover its booming business in Turkey and the Middle East.