Chairman's Message

"ICI Living City" in Antakya

Türkiye Will Never Forget February 6th, 2023. The earthquakes with the epicenter of Kahramanmaraş caused massive destruction in 11 provinces, resulting in the loss of over 45,000 of our citizens. Tens of thousands of our injured people are currently receiving treatment in hospitals. Of course, the pain of the socio-economic destruction caused by the earthquakes, not only in the region but also throughout our country, is unforgettable, especially for those who lost their loved ones or got injured.

As we witnessed difficult images in various media channels, we visited the region twice along with our ministers, administrative officials, and chamber presidents. As someone who observed the effects of the earthquake on site for 5 days, experienced the pain, grief, and devastation firsthand, I must say that words cannot describe the magnitude of the pain.

We express our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of all citizens who lost their lives in this tragedy. I offer my condolences to their grieving families, their loved ones and our nation. My greatest wish is for the speedy recovery of those who were injured and are receiving treatment.

Although there were some initial setbacks in responding to the disaster, Türkiye has been mobilized with a spirit of solidarity, from government agencies to non-governmental organizations, to local governments and to ordinary citizens. We are acting with a sense of urgency to heal the wounds caused by the disaster.

Non-governmental organizations like us also have important responsibilities during such times. As the strongest industrial chamber in Türkiye, we, the Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ICI), have been acting and will continue to act with this responsibility since the first moments of the earthquake with our 23,000 members. You can read in more detail about what we have done within this framework on the following pages. 

After delivering crucial first aid items to the affected areas, the ICI promptly took steps to address the most pressing issue for disaster victims - the need for permanent housing. To this end, we made the swift decision to establish an "ICI Living City" comprising 1,000 containers. We engaged in intensive discussions with administrative officials and initiated our efforts to set up the city in the Antakya city center, where the demand for housing is most critical.

There was a great response to our call for the "ICI Living City" of 1,000 containers. We hope to set up the first containers in early March and have a significant portion of the city completed for people to start living there.

We would like to thank all our council members, Meskom members, ICI members, ICI Foundation members, and the individuals who participated in our campaign and all other charitable organizations and people for their positive contributions to this noble cause.

I would like to emphasize again our commitment to providing all kinds of support for the people in the region, and that the Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ICI) will continue to be actively involved in taking measures for the earthquake city Istanbul as we have always been.

Erdal Bahçıvan
Istanbul Chamber of Industry