Something else I’d like to touch on here is the increasing importance of creative industries, their shared problems, and what can be done. Some thinkers today regard the “creative class” as the backbone not only of science and the arts but also of the new economy. “Creative class” refers to people working in the culture industries: artists; designers; professionals whose economic function is the development of new ideas, new products, new production processes, new technologies and new content; people working in the sciences, engineering, architecture, design, education, fashion, art, music and the entertainment industry; and people in jobs that require independent thinking, education, and problem-solving skills. In Turkey, too, we have to consider how we’re going to strengthen the creative class of our society. Today, large cities around the world are prioritizing creative industries in their development plans. They compete with one another, yet increasingly resemble each other in terms of both their physical attributes and the services they offer. That’s why they look for distinguishing characteristics in their own culture that give them a competitive edge. The Final Report of the YEKON Istanbul Creative Economy Workshop makes a striking point that is quite relevant to us:
The way out for countries caught in the middle-income trap, that is, for countries unable to move from a middle-income GDP per capita to a high-income GDP per capita, depends on moving their production and export structures towards creative sectors with high added value.
Based on turnover, creative industries generate higher added value than other sectors; their production processes also have a positive effect on other sectors. Publishing, for example, increases paper production. The music industry stimulates the manufacturing of instruments and technical equipment. If you shoot a film in an Istanbul neighborhood, you help the shopkeepers there. Another distinguishing characteristic of creative industries is their untiring pursuit of the new and the original. Design is the leading creative activity in this regard.
According to a study carried out in 2013, the contribution of Turkey’s creative sectors to industrial and service sector turnover was only .26 percent, while their contribution to added value was almost double that amount at .49 percent.