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This one is the second of four on the drawing board as the company shores up its data sovereignty efforts for a new cloud world in which it sees data as not the new oil, but the new and real critical world power play.

Driven by its vision of “Turkey’s data should stay in Turkey” when it opened its Gebze, Istanbul data centre in 2016, Turkcell has done it again in Izmir. The newly opened data centre there is the only holder of a Tier 3 certificate in the Aegean region of Turkey.

Turkey is keen on data sovereignty and the country works broadly in line with the EU’s recently adopted General Data Protection Regulation.

Turkcell Izmir Data Centre has a white space of 2,400 square meters and an indoor area of 14,500 square meters, and is resistant against natural disasters, particularly earthquakes, as the centre uses domestically produced seismic isolators in its floors.

The number of provinces where Turkcell invests in for next-generation data centres will reach four upon the completion of data centres planned to be opened in Ankara next year, and then in Corlu.

Binali Yildirim, prime minister of Turkey took part in the opening alongside Kaan Terzioglu, CEO of Turkcell. Terzioglu said: “We are the largest data centre and cloud services operator in Turkey. We will additionally open Ankara and Corlu data centres respectively in the upcoming two years. Once they are put into operation, our total volume of investments in next-generation data centers will reach TRY 2bn ($425m).”

He added: “We are going through an era where the source of power undergoes a change in the world. Now, data is the biggest power. As a country, if we intend to have a say in the new period, we have to retain our digital data in our country and turn it into digital services through data processing.”

Turkcell’s Yaani search engine is among the services that generate the highest volume of data, along with its BiP, fizy, lifebox, TV+ and Paycell digital services. The data consumed in these Turkcell services accounts for 8.5% of the data across Turkcell’s own network.

Terzioglu said: “This percentage will increase in the upcoming period. Currently, Turkey stores up to 96% of its data abroad. We have taken significant steps towards changing this fact. We will reach a total white space capacity of 37,900 square meters upon the kick-off of our Ankara and Corlu data centres.”

Earlier this month, Turkcell and Russia’s internet company Mail.ru Group announced they are working together to expand their digital footprint globally. Turkcell Group, including its subsidiary Lifecell Ventures, and Mail.ru Group are focusing on both email solutions and social media platforms.

Turkcell Group companies operate in eight countries and regions outside Turkey, offering mobile and other digital services in The Netherlands, Ukraine, Belarus, Northern Cyprus, Germany, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Moldova.

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