Turkey is a large coalmining country - its annual production exceeds that in Ukraine (well-known as one of the leading "coalmining" nations), however 96% of production is presented with lignite and sub-bituminous coal. Geological reserves of bituminous coal count for 1 bln tons in Turkey, while of lignite and sub-bituminous coal - for 8 bln tons; commercial reserves count for 860 mln tons and 534 mln tons respectively.
Bituminous coal is mostly located in the northwestern part of the country, in Zonguldak coal basin (more than 80% of bituminous coal in the basin is presented with coking grades). Elbistan lignite basin (located in the central part of Turkey) counts for 40% of the country's lignite and sub-bituminous coal reserves; there are also few other lignite and sub-bituminous coal basins in the country, such as Askale-Erzurum, Simak, Bursa, Cayirhan, Soma, Beysehir, Mugla and few other.
Due to hard mining conditions in Zonguldak basin the nation decreased bituminous coal production, so now it produces only 3.3 mtpa of coking coal (for steel mills located in the northwestern part of the country) while thermal power plants use imported bituminous coal; meanwhile the lignite production doubled in Turkey per last 5 years, so now it produces 86 mtpa of lignite and sub-bituminous coal vs. 44 mtpa in 2004. Turkey imports 20-23 mtpa of bituminous coal from Russia, SAR, US, and Australia.
Coal counts for only 23% in energy production, but it has a high significance in less-developed parts of the country (eastern and part of the central Turkey) where there are no gas or oil pipelines to supply thermal power plants.
State-run coalmines dominate in the country; the Turkish Hard Coal Company (TTK) controls 100% of bituminous coal production; another national coalminer - TKI (Turkish Coal Company) - provides most of lignite production; Afşin-Elbistan company (that unites coalmine and thermal power plant, one of the largest in Turkey) is also controlled with the country's authorities. Few private miners produce lignite in smaller mines.