From “Cemiyet-i Ticariye’ to the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce
The world was going through a rapid transformation due to major events such as the discovery of America, the establishment of new trade routes leading to the Far East market through circumnavigation of Africa, the invention of the steam machine and the industrial revolution in the U.K., and the social transformation created by the French Revolution.
All of these developments required novel notions and approaches for the re-organization of production and trade. First, a series of administrative and legal regulations were undertaken to enable the development of agriculture, industry and trade, and hence on June 25, 1876 “Meclis-i Ticaret ve Ziraat’ (Council for Agriculture and Trade) was established. Basically functioning and operating as an “expert and intellectual counseling” body, the Council later pursued its activities as “Meclis-i Ticaret (Council for Trade).
Meclis-i Ticaret formed the core of the “Dersaadet Ticaret Odası” (The Chamber of Commerce of The ‘Land of Happiness,’ this optimistic appellation also being an affectionate epithet for the city of Istanbul) was established on 19 January 1880, and held its first meeting on 14 January 1882. In an era of decline of the Ottoman Empire, the Chamber was envisioned as means to rescue the economy. The Chamber took the name Istanbul Ticaret ve Sanayi Odası” (Istanbul Chamber of Commerce and Industry) in 1910, and following the Declaration of the Republic of Turkey in 1923 and the Izmir Economy Congress its image, functions, duties and responsibilities rapidly changed.
Following on from the Law for Chambers of Commerce and Industry of 1925, regulations emerged, and as with many chambers of commerce in Turkey, this provided a legal basis for the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, which earned its legitimate identity. After these developments, the Turkish Law number 655 adopted on 14 May 1925 required all parties involved in commercial activities mandatory membership in Chambers of Commerce.
The Law number 5590 on the Chambers and the Union of Chambers and Exchanges enacted on 8 March 1950 recognized the autonomy that Chambers needed for the creation of an atmosphere, which facilitated professional activities, and supported the aim of the Chamber concerning the promotion of honesty and trust in relationships among members, and between members and the public. in addition, it helped the understanding and development of business discipline, ethics and solidarity, and contributed to the growth of business life in line with the general interests of the society. However, industrial companies formed a separate professional organization, and on 30 May 1952 the Chamber acquired its current name.
In 1925, The Istanbul Chamber of Commerce started to serve in the ‘4.Vakıf Han” building. After 1970, it continued its activities in the building located on the coast of the Golden Horn. In September 2000, an old, however decayed building in Eminönü was restored and started to serve as the new building of the Chamber. The Chamber is now providing services to its members, to the city of Istanbul and to Turkey in this building equipped with the latest technology and of the new millennium.
Today, The Istanbul Chamber of Commerce has 98 Profession Committees and over 325,000 members, and is one of the largest and most prominent Chambers in the world. Since 1927, the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce has been a member of the International Chamber of Commerce in order to contribute to the development of Turkey, and to pursue the aim of once again transforming it into a globally networked country. in 1963, İktisadi Kalkınma Vakfı (Foundation for Economical Development) was established, which formed the basis of today’s rapport of the private sector with the European Union. Since 1993, The Istanbul Chamber of Commerce also has been a member of ASCAME. In the 1980s through its cooperation with UNIDO, the Chamber started working towards the establishment of The Supplier Industry Exchange. This is the period when the Istanbul World Trade Center was set up under the leadership of the Chamber.
As one of the important elements of modern business, The Arbitration Institution was put into operation in accordance to The Istanbul Chamber of Commerce’s Regulation of 1950 for Arbitration and Settlement Mediation Expertise. In addition, the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce started activities for the securing the rights of the consumers in the 1960s, long before legal arrangements were in effect. The Istanbul Chamber of Commerce members “Commitment for the Protection of the Consumers” which came into effect in 1981, and the “customer is always right” policy has helped solve consumer complaints efficiently.
As a result of the handover of the Istanbul and Kadıköy Registry Offices to our Chamber in 1996, the Chamber has assumed yet another significant responsibility towards its members. The service units of Kadıköy, Perpa, İSTOÇ and Yenibosna were installed to provide the members with simple and speedy access to services. Envisioning a modern Turkey, after 2000 the Chamber felt that it needed to expand its services beyond commerce, into the field of training and education. So far, the Chamber has donated to the service of the community 11 schools, and additionally it has formed the Foreign Trade Institute in 1995 to train international marketing experts that the business community needs. Following this first step, in 2001 a great enterprise was initiated and the Istanbul Commerce University was established to educate the young minds that will lead Atatürk’s Turkey in the new millennium.
The Chamber, which has acted as a pioneer in most fields, has also led the efforts for Quality, and has become the first professional organization in Turkey to acquire an Isa 9001 Quality Certificate.
The ventures of our Chamber in the field of Quality did not stop there. Within the framework of the Development Scheme for Turkish Chambers of TOBB (The Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Maritime Trade and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey) “Quality Strategy for Turkish Chambers” project was initiated in cooperation with the Eurochambers and the Federation of British Chambers, and consequently, following the audit by The Accreditation Council of the Eurochambers, the chamber was elected. Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Chamber was elected “Best Chamber of Europe.”
Through the efforts of its expert staff, with its entrepreneurial spirit and under the guidance of its persisting policy based on honesty and justice, the Chamber will further develop in line with its expanding vision, the mission of “leadership in economy” conferred to it 122 years ago. As a civil society organization holding an important position both in Turkey and in the international community, just as in the past, also in the future, our chamber will continue to be the leader of the society and particularly the business community.
-EUROCHAMBRES Deputy President
-Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (ICCIA), Vice President
– Board Member of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu is the President of The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), which is the largest non-profit business organization in Turkey, covering 365 Chambers and Commodity Exchanges.
TOBB represents the country’s 1.4 million companies and acts as the most effective professional organization with a network of members reaching into all scale of businesses from different sectors, great to small in all regions in Turkey.
Married and father of three, M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu was born on November 22nd 1955 in Ankara, but originally from Kayseri. After finishing high school at Ankara TED College, he earned his B.A. degree in Economics and Management from Gazi University in Ankara.
After completing his undergraduate degree, Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu started his professional life in the private sector. In which he is the Chairman of Eskihisar Group of Companies that operate in the fields of construction, construction materials, export and import, agriculture, investments, land development, food industry and automotive sector. Besides his professional career as a prominent businessman, Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu was elected as a Councilman at Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ATO) in 1992 and still continues his post.
After a one-year vice presidency period at TOBB, Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu was elected as the President of the Union on June 26th 2001 and was re-elected in May 2002 until 2005. Having demonstrated an outstanding performance in his post as the leader of the Turkish Private Sector, Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu was elected for the second time in May 2005 and for the third time in May 2009.
He pioneered the establishment of the largest Women Entrepreneurship Council and the Youth Entrepreneurship Council in Turkey.
Since August 2001, Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu has been the President of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK), which aims to contribute to the efforts for improving Turkey’s external economic relations through Business Councils world-wide. DEIK assists the business community in the development of foreign economic and commercial activities for the benefit of the country and in the best evaluation of business opportunities through its 106 Bilateral, 2 Sectoral and World Turkish Business Councils (DTIK) that is established under the aegis of DEIK.
Besides, he is also the President of the World Turkish Business Council (DTIK), which aims to create a strong consensus among the Turkish businessmen abroad and develop their commercial relations.
Having the inspiration to improve the quality of labour force of business communities and also bring light to education by combining academic and private sector cooperation, Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu pioneered the establishment of the “TOBB University of Economics and Technology” (TOBB-ETU) in Ankara, in July 2003. The university focuses on science and technology, administrative and social sciences to train business leaders for the 21st century, providing innovative teaching and research programs to educate creative people who can acquire, synthesize and apply interdisciplinary scientific knowledge with entrepreneurial skills. TOBB ETU has been running a 1-year long cooperative education system since its establishment, the first and unique cooperative education initiative in Turkey. Today, TOBB – ETU ranks as the “most preferred university” among the universities in Turkey and also TOBB ETU Hospital, one of the accredited medical institution with JCI Quality Certificate, was established in 2010.
With an insight to respond to a much-felt necessity for a policy making institution, Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu pioneered the establishment of a think-tank. He is currently the President of TEPAV – The Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey, which is engaged in research on economics, governance studies, strategic and foreign policy studies.
For the determination of the priorities in economic issues with participatory approach and through taking the views of Turkish businessmen, Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu took the initiative to establish The Evaluation Board for Economic Issues (ESDK), which comprises Ministries, TOBB and representatives from related private sector organizations. ESDK aims to make significant contribution to the dynamism of the private sector and improve the adaptability of the Turkish economy to internal and external markets, in the course of evaluating issues and burdens on the Turkish business community.
Representing the Turkish private sector, M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu is also a Member of the Economic and Social Council of Turkey chaired by the Prime Minister. The Economic and Social Council is a social dialogue platform which covers various socio-economic groups and serves as an important cooperation and communication mechanism between these groups and the government.
He is a High Advisory Board Member in the UNICEF National Committee of Turkey.
With its flashing profile and contemporary spirit, TOBB plays an active role in international relations and global business arena. With this sense, Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu carries a wide range of responsibilities in the integration of the Turkish business world with the global market and increasing competitiveness.
During his Presidency, TOBB became the most active and influential umbrella organization of the Turkish business community, not only in the domestic arena but also in the international sphere.
He is the Deputy President of EUROCHAMBRES since 2009, which has 45 member countries, working with 2000 local and regional chambers, 19 million enterprises, which provide employment for 200 million people.
Mr. Hisarcıklıoğluis the Vice President of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), since 2009. It was established in October 1977, in Karachi. ICCI is an affiliated organ of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and represents the private sector of 57 member countries.
Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu has also been the Chairman of ICC-Turkey (International Chamber of Commerce), since September 2001 and he became the ICC G-20 Advisory Group Member
in June 2011. Besides, he is the Member of the General Council of World Chambers Federation (WCF) since January 2011.
M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, is also the Turkish side Chairman of the “Partners for a New Beginning” (PNB) Local Chapter Turkey (2011-2016), which was established to contribute the development of Turkey-US economic relations through public private partnerships. Meanwhile the US side is chaired by Madeleine Albright, Former Secretary of State.
Recognizing the importance of the U.S. – Turkey bilateral relationship, TOBB and the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) formed the CSIS – TOBB, United States – Turkish Contact Group (CUTCG) in Washington D.C in June 2003. Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu is the Co-Chairman of this Contact Group.
Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu is the Chairman of The Ankara Forum, a permanent dialogue mechanism for a trilateral economic cooperation among Palestine, Israel and Turkey, initiated by TOBB. The first meeting of the Ankara Forum was held in Ankara on 27th April 2005, following 7 more meetings. The most concrete project within the Forum in the meantime is the establishment of the Industrial Peace Project in Palestine.
Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu is the Chairman of The Istanbul Forum, another unique platform to instigate and build up economic cooperation between Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkey. The first meeting of the Forum took place in Istanbul on 26th October 2007 and the the sixth meeting on 1st November 2011.
Due to his profound approach and sensitivity towards Turkey’s economic and social life, Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu, has undertook various responsibilities in many national and international non-governmental organizations. Having a strong international mission, Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu, works closely with his counterparts around the world and international business organizations.
His positions in the boards of regional and international organizations:
Deputy President of Eurochambres: (2009 – …)
Vice-President of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (ICCIA): (2009 – 2013)
Chairman of ICC (International Chamber of Commerce)-Turkey
Member of Executive Board of ICC (International Chamber of Commerce)
Co-President Turkey Africa Chamber (TAC), (2008 – …)
Chairman of the ICC-Turkey (International Chamber of Commerce, National Committee), (2001- …)
Member of the ICC G-20 Advisory Group: (2011 – …)
Member of the General Council of World Chambers Federation (WCF): (2011 – …)
Member of the Executive Committee (EXCOM) of CACCI – Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (2010 – 2011)
Board of Trustees Member of Yunus Emre Foundation, (2008 – …)
Member of the Executive Board of the Association of the Black Sea Zone Chambers of Commerce and Industry, (2001 – …)
Member of the Executive Committee of D-8 Federation of Chambers of Commerce, (2001 – …)
Former President of the Association of Balkan Chambers (ABC): (2007-2008)
Former President of the ECO Chamber of Commerce and Industry: (2007-2010)
Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu has received numerous awards and honors from many countries and reputable organizations:
the Gold Medal of Merit by the Austrian Republic
the ‘Commendatore’ from the Italian Republic
the ‘Medal of Inspiration’ from Mongolia
‘Honorary Doctorate’ by the Karadeniz Technical University in Turkey
‘Honorary Doctorate’ by Izmir University of Economics
‘Medal of Honor’ from the Assembly of French Chambers of Commerce and Industry
‘Honorary Membership” Award from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania.
Medal of Honor by Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Social Contribution Certificate by Suleyman Demirel University
Special Science Award from the Popular Scientific Journal
“Businessman of the Year” Award from the Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
“Social Scientist of the Year” Award from the Social Sciences High School Science & Technology Club
International Road Transport Union (IRU) Honorary Award
Gratitude Award by the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Certificate of Honorary Membership by the Turkish – American Businessmen Association
Award of the Year by “Economist” Magazine “Non-Governmental Organization Leader of the Year”
Ukrainian CCI Medal of Honor
Kazakhstan Medal for Development of Friendship and Cooperation
De Turkse minister van Financiën Mehmet Simsek Foto: Bloomberg
01 april 2013,
Sterke groeivertraging Turkse economie
Van onze redactie
De Turkse economie blijkt vorig jaar met slechts 2,2% te zijn gegroeid, tegen nog 8,5% in 2011 en 9% in 2010. Vooral de doorgevoerde renteverhogingen hakten erin, maar de economische zwakte in Europa deed zich eveneens voelen.
Waar economen op een opleving in het vierde kwartaal hadden gerekend, viel de groei vanwege lagere uitgaven door de particuliere sector juist terug tot een magere 1,4%. De exportsector leed voorts onder de crisis in Europa, maar hogere goudverkopen aan Iran boden deels compensatie.
De rente werd vorig jaar opgetrokken in reactie op het hoge tekort op de handelsbalans en om oververhitting van de economie tegen te gaan. Economen vragen zich nu echter af of de Turkse Centrale Bank niet te sterk op de rem is gaan staan.
Inmiddels heeft ze de monetaire teugels weer enigszins laten vieren. Mede hierdoor vertrouwt de minister van Financiën Mehmet Simsek erop dat de doelstelling van een economische groei van 4% in 2013 ruimschoots gehaald zal worden.
S&P positief over Turkije
27 maart 2013,
LONDEN (AFN) – De Turkse economie komt steeds beter in balans, terwijl de Turkse overheid haar financiële positie goed onder controle heeft. Dat concludeert kredietbeoordelaar Standard & Poor’s (S&P) in een woensdag gepubliceerd rapport.
S&P verhoogt daarin de rating voor de kredietwaardigheid van Turkije met één stap naar BB+. Die stap weerspiegelt volgens S&P de sterke exportprestaties van Turkije, waardoor het handelstekort van het land flink is gedaald. De economische groei viel vorig jaar wel terug, maar ligt nu op een meer duurzaam niveau dan voorheen, aldus de kredietbeoordelaar.
ING verwacht fors herstel Nederlandse export naar Turkije
Amsterdam , 21-03-2013
ING verwacht dit jaar een fors herstel van de Nederlandse export naar Turkije, de snelst groeiende economie in Europa. Toch laat het Nederlandse bedrijfsleven veel kansen in Turkije onbenut, stelt ING in een rapport ter gelegenheid van het bezoek van de Turkse premier Erdogan aan Nederland deze week.
Groei Turkse economie
De Turkse economie beleefde vorig jaar een milde dip (de groei daalde van +8,5% in 2011 naar +2,8% in 2012), die ook door Nederlandse exporteurs is gevoeld. Zowel ondernemers als consumenten hielden vanwege de economische onzekerheid de hand op de knip. Het Nederlandse exportpakket naar Turkije bestaat vooral uit halffabricaten, grondstoffen en investeringsgoederen, zoals machines. Voor dit jaar zijn de vooruitzichten voor de Turkse consumenten en producenten weer veel rooskleuriger, met een verwachte economische groei van 5%. Dat leidt voor de Nederlandse export naar verwachting tot een duidelijk herstel van 5% (na een daling van 1,4% vorig jaar). Toch blijft dit achter bij de groei van de totale Turkse invoer (8%).
“De Turkse economie transformeert naar een economie met midden- en hoogtechnologische producten en diensten. Om dit te kunnen realiseren heeft Turkije sterk behoefte aan buitenlandse investeerders die kennis meebrengen, nieuwe technieken introduceren en de broodnodige investeringen kunnen doen”, zegt ING-econoom Rob Rühl. “Dat biedt veel kansen voor Nederlandse ondernemingen, zoals het leveren van hoogwaardige machines voor het uitbreiden van de productiecapaciteit en kennis op het gebied van logistieke dienstverlening, het aanleggen van vliegvelden en havens, en toeleveranties aan de zich snel ontwikkelende Turkse automobielindustrie. Ook heeft Turkije behoefte aan andere zaken waar het Nederlandse bedrijfsleven goed in is, zoals medische apparatuur, kennis op het gebied van energiebesparing, watermanagement en zaadveredeling ten behoeve van de agrarische sector.”
Nederlandse ondernemers laten kansen onbenut
Toch laten Nederlandse bedrijven veel van deze kansen onbenut, volgens Rühl. “Zo zijn er bijvoorbeeld 677 Nederlandse ondernemingen met vestigingen in Turkije. Dat zijn er aanmerkelijk minder dan bijvoorbeeld in Polen, waar dat er 1393 zijn. Dit ondanks dat de Turkse economie anderhalf keer zo groot is als de Poolse, en op koers ligt om de vijfde economie van Europa te worden. Als Nederlandse bedrijven alle potentieel zouden benutten, zou de exportgroei bijna 8% kunnen zijn in plaats van de huidige verwachte 5%. Wel is het in eerste instantie vooral een zaak van investeren in de relaties alvorens er zaken kunnen worden gedaan, zoals Nederlandse bedrijven in Polen succesvol hebben gedaan. Dat kost tijd en geduld.”
De transport en logistieke dienstverlening wordt de belangrijkste spil in de commerciële dienstverlening. Turkije profiteert van de strategische ligging op de grens van Europa en Azië. Grote verbeteringen in de havencapaciteit stellen het land in staat een steeds belangrijker rol spelen in de handelsstromen tussen Azië en Europa. “Turkije kan zo zelfs een concurrent vormen voor Rotterdam”, aldus Rühl. “Het is daarom verstandig dat de Turkse havens en Rotterdam meer gaan samenwerken.”
Zijn er dan geen problemen bij het zakendoen in Turkije?
Het zakenklimaat in Turkije is de afgelopen tijd duidelijk verbeterd. Sinds de kredietwaardering in november door Fitch is verhoogd naar BBB- is er ook sprake van een sterke stijging van de instroom van beleggingskapitaal. De Turkse regering heeft veel gedaan aan het verbeteren van het zakelijke klimaat via wet- en regelgeving en met duidelijk beleid. Toch moet er nog het nodige verbeteren. In het algemeen moet er gewerkt worden aan verbetering van het vertrouwen in het juridisch systeem. Rühl wijst verder op de moeizame verstrekking van vergunningen en documenten door overheidsinstanties, de langdurige procedures bij het uitwinnen van contracten of bij faillissementen, de ingewikkeldheid van het belastingstelsel en de enorme administratiedruk bij import en export.