Defender Ozan Kabak took advantage of slack marking in the visitors’ penalty area to head in the opener five minutes from half-time after earlier hitting the bar and then attacker Cengiz Under added a second with a fine finish four minutes after the break.
The Scots were struggling but midfielder John McGinn reduced the deficit in the 61st minute with a fine run and drive and that brought them to life, although they could not get the leveller, resulting in their first defeat in five matches in what was the final fixture of 2022.
“Mixed,” the Scotland boss told BBC Radio Scotland by way of analysis.
“I thought at times we coped quite well. Obviously at other times not so well.
“We probably gave up too many chances in the first half, a lot of them from our own slackness, maybe the mentality of a friendly.
“It should be mentioned that it is a long trip to get here, we had a long flight.
“We only had 20 minutes’ tactical work on the pitch yesterday which was in front of everybody who wanted to watch it.
“So we can make some excuses from that but I don’t want to make too many excuses.
“There was some things we tried on the pitch, organisation and set-plays, some of it worked and some of it didn’t work so we have to go away, analyse what we did and hopefully be much better next year.”
For 19-year-old Liverpool defender Calvin Ramsay, who made his debut at the start of the second half after getting his first call-up, it was a “dream come true”.
He said: “It’s a massive achievement for me. My family were here, so for me to come on and make my debut for Scotland, it’s a dream come true for all of us.
“It was a tough game, they’re a good side. Second half was much better, we created more chances, were on top of them a bit more.
“It’s going to be tough when you go 2-0 down, but you’ve got to keep your head, get on the ball and try to make an impression.
“It’s not been the longest camp, but I’ve still learnt a lot, and hopefully I can come away with them again and keep learning.”
Clarke said: “Young Calvin gets his first cap which is great for him.
“It was a tough night for him to come into the game, it was a difficult game to come in to.
“He gave us a little bit more defensive solidity, I didn’t want to put him under pressure earlier in the game so the half-time introduction was better for Calvin.”