DE-CIX has announced that the company will open an Internet exchange in Istanbul, Turkey, to provide a neutral interconnection and peering point for Internet service providers from Turkey, Iran, the Caucasus region, and the Middle East. DE-CIX Istanbul will start out with one location and expand over time to multiple data centers across the metropolitan area. The exchange will be an essential part of the Internet ecosystem in the region.

With the World Bank recording Turkey's 2013 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at more than US$ 800 billion, the country's economy has been growing rapidly from the early 2000s. Turkey itself has a large domestic Internet market, including over 470 Internet providers. More than 46 percent of the Turkish population are Internet users themselves, according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and they generate large volumes of content with national and regional importance. Internet user numbers in-country are growing by 25 percent each year, with consumption via mobile devices leading the way.

Across the region, existing systems like MedNautilus and new terrestrial cable builds such as AMEER (Alternative Middle East European Route), GBI North, JADI (Jeddah-Amman-Damascus-Istanbul) and RCN (Regional Cable Network), are all designed to provide connectivity to Middle Eastern markets and have landing points in Istanbul. While some of those systems suffer from outages due to political instability in the region, they are designed to provide connectivity to and from the Middle East that is diverse to the traditional subsea cable infrastructure routes crossing the Red Sea and Suez Canal.

"Istanbul is already a hub for finance, logistics and transport. Like we've experienced in Frankfurt, Internet infrastructure follows these developments," confirms Harald A. Summa, DE-CIX CEO. "The need has grown tremendously to interconnect the critical traffic streams that travel from other regions through Istanbul and bring them closer to their destinations. Content, cloud, gaming and other providers will meet the eyeball networks halfway at this new exchange."

As global Internet traffic volumes continue to increase, the role of interconnection and peering becomes more important. Peering at an Internet exchange allows for more direct paths, with traffic delivered with lower latency and cost. DE-CIX recently announced new Internet exchanges in Palermo, Italy, and Marseille, France; Istanbul will be its third exchange along the border of the Mediterranean Sea. All three new exchanges are expected to open in Q3 2015.