Chairman's Message

Our 65th Anniversary and Qualified Transformation Opportunity

Turkey had completed the referendum process for the constitution amendment about the Government System with a very high participation rate in a very peaceful environment, setting an example to all democratic societies. And at the end, the constitutional amendment is accepted by Turkish people. As this referendum period is over, Turkey will enter into a period that uncertainty is over, economy is the main agenda and election atmosphere is cleared. This period should be seen as a very valuable opportunity, which needs to be used optimally to achieve those structural reforms that will carry Turkey to a bright future.

Thus, it is the duty and responsibility of all of us and primarily the political authority to create a much more qualified ecosystem in our economy, production life and human capital. It should be our priority to focus on the reforms that will be the milestones in achieving such a "qualified transformation" of Turkey in unity and solidarity. Here are some of the reforms that we need to address within the next term:

It is essential to reinforce an economical growth dynamic based on qualified production. We should have a more innovative and more competitive product range with a higher added value. Our export composition should gain a structure that the share of advanced technology is higher.

Istanbul Chamber of Industry is ready to provide the required leadership and contribution to this described new economical growth dynamics. Istanbul Chamber of Industry that we are celebrating its 65th anniversary this month makes us stronger with its knowledge, experience and know-how. This 65 years long journey that passed with service to Turkish industry and economy is full of milestones making us proud.

Thus, this issue discusses these milestones and takes us on a journey from the past to the present in 65 years long active life of Istanbul Chamber of Commerce. The history of Istanbul Chamber of Industry, whose foundations were laid with the signature of more than 700 industrialists in 1952, are illustrated on these pages with columns, memories, photographs, significant events and a timetable. On the other, the 65 years of Turkish economy since the day Istanbul Chamber of Commerce was founded is outlined for the readers in 11 items.

And the interviews with Turkish Minister of Science, Industry and Technology - Dr. Faruk Özlü, Turkish Minister of Customs and Trade - Bülent Tüfenkçi, TOBB Chairman - M. Rıfat Hisarcıklıoğlu, the doyen of industry - Mehmet Şuhubi and ICI Assembly President - Zeynep Bodur Okyay enrich the pages even more.

The magazine also gives wide coverage to our senior industrialists that took roles in the management team of Istanbul Chamber of Industry, whose services are not forgotten, and to the stories of our four iconic and historic buildings from Vakıf Han to Odakule in these past 65 years. I believe that this exclusive issue prepared at the end of a meticulous and careful work will wake the memories of some and take an important place in the archives of all.

I am proud to say that the experience and knowledge that we have as Istanbul Chamber of Industry give all of us happiness and courage for new steps. I have no doubt that we, the industrialists, will achieve many more great things that will carry our industry and our economy to brighter days.

Erdal Bahçıvan
Istanbul Chamber of Industry
Chairman of the Board