As the Turkish toy market expands and exports increase year by year, craftspeople in the capital Ankara have focused on producing wooden toys.
Huseyin Taklaci, head of Furniture Craftsman’s Association in Ankara, spoke to Anadolu Agency about the toy industry in Turkey.
Taklaci said the choice of toys was crucial for child development, adding that plastic and electronic toys were preferred more than wooden ones.
“Plastic is decomposed in 450 years compared to wood, which takes only 15 years in nature. Wooden toys should be preferred not only for the health of children, but also for the future of the environment,” Taklaci said.
He also underscored that chemicals in plastic and electronic toys may be harmful to health.
Saying that wooden toys are mostly made of natural materials, Taklaci underlined that chemicals such as PVC and phthalate are not used in them.
“Children are in close contact with toys until a certain age. They touch, even put toys to their mouth,” Taklaci said.
“It is much easier to clean and decontaminate wooden toys that are free of dangerous materials as much as possible. Thus, our children are better protected against bacterial diseases,” he added.
Wooden toy market hits record with export
Turkey’s market size in wooden toys now exceeds over 100 million Turkish liras ($17.5 million) and exports have reached nearly 3 billion Turkish liras ($520 million), Taklaci said.
“In line with demands coming from shopkeepers, we are ready to also make handcrafted wooden toys after handcrafted furniture in Ankara. In this context, we started to produce on a small scale and are ready to introduce wooden toys to the market,” Taklaci added.