Turkey's automotive sector can expect a 15-20% fall in sales in 2009, a key executive has said.

State-run news agency Anatolian said local manufacturer Toyotasa's CEO Ibrahim Orhon made the forecast, Reuters reported.

A Turkish automotive exporters association said earlier during the weekend exports fell 69.3% in the first half of January due to temporary production halts during the month.

Another sector association had previously said it foresaw a 15-20% fall in production this year.

"We are sharing a sectoral view that sees a 15 to 20% fall in the total market for 2009," Orhon was quoted as saying.

Turkish plants build models from Renault, Fiat, Ford, Toyota and Honda amongst others. The country is the  sole source of Europe's Ford Transit Connect small van line.