Home Top Web Apps in Turkey

Top Web Apps in Turkey

Turkey is next in this R/WW series
on top international Web apps. It’s the 9th country I’ve profiled so far – the others
have been Germany,
Holland, Poland, Korea, United Kingdom, Russia, Spain and China. For the following information on Turkey, I
have Emre Sokullu to thank (also Honor Gunday for info on his web apps). Emre is an open
source enthusiast from Istanbul, whose projects include GROU.PS, Turkix and SimpleKDE. He was over in Silicon Valley recently and not
only did he attend the TechCrunch party,
he also visited the Googleplex and ate
“just 10 m. away from Sergey Brin”! But I digress…

Overview of Turkey Web market

Turkey is a nation of over 70M and
straddles Europe and Asia. In terms of Web apps Emre said that Turkey, like Israel, has a
number of growing web 2.0 companies – and “almost all of them are local clones of some
proven [international] ideas”. But he says that his own app, Grou.ps, “is an exception
there.” Interestingly, there are no exact Flickr and del.icio.us clones in Turkey. Emre
thinks the reason is that photo sharing is not popular enough in his country and
StumbleUpon (see below) is more than enough for link sharing/storing.

Amongst the international web apps, Gmail, Meebo, Blogger and
StumbleUpon are very popular in Turkey.

Emre said that in previous years the Turkish Web market was dominated by large Turkish
media enterprises. Only a few independent ventures have since become big successes.
However, in the current era of the Web there are many independent ventures. Emre said
that while most of these Turkish ‘web 2.0’ apps have not gotten popular yet, they are

Top Turkish Web Apps

Yonja.com is headquartered in the USA. It is a MySpace
clone and is the leading player in the Turkish market – it currently claims 2.6M members.
Emre told me the Yonja team uses the popularity of their portal to promote their other
new ventures – like meqan.com, 7inci.com, metroliste.com.

Google’s social network Orkut gets a special mention from Emre, even though it’s
not Turkish. It was however built by a Turkish Google engineer – Orkut Buyukkokten, originally from the Turkish
city of Konyahas and who went on to obtain a PhD in Computer Science from Stanford
University. In Turkish, Orkut means “the
holy meeting place.”

Zurna.com – like Yonja.com, a Turkish clone of MySpace;
but Zurna is more like TagWorld, with its more web 2.0-like look ‘n feel and smaller user
base (80,000 users). Zurna is also headquartered in USA, by Stanford graduate Honor Gunday (Yonja is from
a Harvard graduate).

Zurna owner Honor Gunday sent me this information about Zurna:

“We launched Zurna.com for Turkey, last August. and it quickly grew to about 80.000 users now. It is currently #3 among social networks in Turkey, the largest one being Yonja.com but slowly eroding and 2nd largest one being Siberalem, which is also eroding. Zurna is the only Web 2.0 social network in Turkey, and probably the first web2.0 website, which allows people to blog, create groups, use 3rd party widgets, video, odeo, tags, photo ratings, customizable profiles a la myspace-but better- etc… Our initial version of Zurna back from 6 years ago was actually the first website to offer blogs in Turkey, but nobody used the blogging feature then now, it’s slowly taking off. Turkish people don’t really like to blog, but like to look at pictures and watch videos. So our digg-like photo commenting functionality is really really popular. and we also have an experimental project called Sozluk, which is a multimedia concept repository. People can define a concept with different media : pictures, video, writings, just like wikipedia, but more multi-media. We also have a section for aspiring music artists where they can create music profiles and upload their mp3s and get comments from the Zurna users…”

GROU.PS is Emre’s alpha web app and he insists that it’s
not a clone! He told me it’s an original idea “born in Palo Alto and targeting not just
Turkey but international markets.” Grou.ps enables social groups (communities, alumni,
colleagues, etc) to set up a web site quickly – and share and communicate via email and
mobile phones. Emre says it a “next-generation version of Yahoo! Groups, Google Groups or
MSN Groups.”

cember.net – Turkish LinkedIn, OpenBC clone. Has
more than 100,000 users and has attracted media attention.

videbu.com – Turkish YouTube clone, featuring some
local videos inside. Getting popular and has no quality problems yet.

blogcu.com – a blogging service. Blogcu means
“blogger” in Turkish. Getting very very popular, said Emre.

ntpy.com – Turkish reddit clone. However just got hacked
1 week ago and is down for a while.

metroliste.com – Turkish craigslist clone. A
product of the Yonja.com team; Craigslist’s own Istanbul service is more widely used by
foreign citizens living in Istanbul; whereas metroliste is used more by local Turks. Its
success is mostly due to the ads they get from yonja.com.

eskobo.com – a Personalized start page that Emre said
is a NetVibes/Live.com clone; hasn’t been maintained though.

pilli.com – FederatedMedia clone; an advertising
network for targeted blogs like bildirgec.org, hafif.org, 3ayak.org, zamazing.org, 22dakika.org;

paylaj.com – Turkish Habbo clone. But it’s still in
its infancy.

istanbul.net, izmir.net, ankara.net
formed by some successful web 1.0 veterans in Turkey (siberalem.com and itiraf.com), these sites are location targeted “dating 2.0”
sites. The owners bought some very expensive city names for this project. The content is
exactly the same across the sites. And just like most dating 2.0 sites, they don’t charge
for viewing profiles – but they charge for people getting in touch with one another.

daveti.com – meetup.com of Turkey. Jut started but is
doing pretty well.

pazarmetre.com – web 2.0 online shopping site.
Just launched. Not very popular yet. Looks promising but should be ready for tough
competition; because already-established and popular online shopping sites are controlled
by Turkey’s large media companies.

7inci.com – Turkish version of yelp.com; yet another
clone venture of the Yonja.com guys

meqan.com – Dating 2.0 portal; rival of istanbul.net,
izmir.net, ankara.net; The dating portal business is very successful in Turkey. Again,
yet another venture of Yonja.com guys.

closo.com – online marketing and e-commerce site;
venture of zurna.com owner, Honor Gunday.

happyhourmaps.com – a site to share fun places;
Google Maps powered and yet another venture of zurna.com owner, Honor Gunday. Not a
working release yet.


If you are from Turkey or know it well, please add to the comments if I’ve missed a
major Turkish web app – or if you’d like to correct or add to the information in this

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