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With $863 billion in gross domestic product, Turkey was the sixth-largest economy on the continent of Europe last year, based on the International Monetary Fund World Economy Outlook, Mr. Caglayan said.

“People should never forget that those who have closer economic relations with Turkey will prove to be the profit-makers in this region,” Mr. Caglayan told the Associated Press. “This applies to the European Union, too.”

Turkey was the premier builder in the former Soviet Union, and nearly a quarter of Turkish construction business is done in Russia, followed by Libya and the former Soviet republics of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.

Turkish firms launched their first projects in Brazil and Angola in 2009, Mr. Caglayan said, and they also are heavily involved in Qatar, Algeria, Iraq, Romania and Afghanistan.

“Turkish firms are putting their signature in remote parts of the world, thanks to their flexibility in working in sometimes difficult or dangerous environments and ability to handle complicated local laws,” said Demir Engin, president of NACE, a company that specializes in equipment for cement and asphalt plants.

Ilnur Cevik, former partner in a company that built the airport and dormitories for thousands of university students in the town of Sulaimaniyah in Kurdish northern Iraq, said that some Turkish firms found it easier to give kickbacks to local officials because they’re not obliged to show bribe money on their books and had familiarity with bribe-giving culture back home.

“Corruption is a major problem in countries like Kazakhstan or Turkmenistan,” Mr. Cevik said. “Everybody wants some kind of kickback in the Arab world, too. Turks went to places where Westerners could not, because foreign companies want to do everything according to the book.”

In Astana, the palatial, tent-shaped Khan Shatry shopping center designed by renowned British architect Norman Foster and built by Sembol Construction of Turkey in a joint venture with Russia’s Coalco Development was opened in early July to mark the 70th birthday of Kazakhstan’s president.

The translucent structure includes an artificial beach made of sand from the Maldives at an indoor pool on the fifth floor.

Sembol Construction also built the Foster-designed 250-foot-tall glass Pyramid of Peace, which holds an opera house, library and cultural research center, at a cost of more than $65 million.

Paul Barry, an international construction expert with London-based Navigant Consulting, said Turkish firms were becoming “very serious” rivals for international contractors.

“Because they can relate to Muslim cultures and are very competitive,” Mr. Barry said. “Because they are starting to get a good reputation for being involved, probably in a joint venture with complex and demanding projects.”

However, Mr. Barry said, “They are developing, but have yet to demonstrate that they can do it on their own and prove themselves in Western Europe or the United States.”