Turkey's Sonmez focuses on tourism after halting textile operation .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} Turkey's Sonmez conglomerate, who has halted its operations in textile, is planning to invest a total of $150 million in various sectors including tourism, energy, technology retailing and cement in 2009, the company said in a statement on Sunday.

The company which also owns Sonmez Filament, one of Turkey's the leading textile factories, has halted output permanently in this factory in November due to the worsened market conditions stemming from global crisis.

The company was mistakenly perceived as it was shrinking after the decision of closing Sonmez Filament, Celal Sonmez, company's chairman said in the statement adding that they started to grow in other sectors.

"Yes, this is a focusing strategy. Ninety-five percent of company's revenue was coming from textile in 1997. But this declined between 10-15 percent. We are targeting to be among top 10 companies for tourism, energy, information technology and cement in 2010, which means the target of a total of $600 million revenue."

Sonmez also said they would grow with Baia hotel chain in tourism sector and increase the numbers of the hotels to ten. They have invested some $150 million in tourism so far, he added.

As the crisis sinks its teeth into the real economy worldwide, Turkish producers operating in the textile industry have implemented a number of cost cutting measures including reducing production, laying off employees and downsizing. Many textile manufacturers have shut down operations across Turkey, including 14 factories near Istanbul.