In the business world besides companies which grow overnight, there are those which grow gradually but with sound steps. The light for those companies which grow very rapidly is likely to soon die away.

We Were Together With Dr.Zeynel Abidin Erdem At Divan's Conversation

Date: 8.06.2011


Chairman of Erdem Holding A.Ş. and Spanish Consular Agent for the Marmara Region Dr. Zeynel Abidin Erdem was the May guest of the Divan Conversation


On Sunday, May 29th, we chatted with Mr. Zeynel Abidin. Beyond being one of Turkey’s leading businessmen, Mr. Abidin is one of us, a vastly knowledgeable intellectual with extensive vision who can’t hide his enthusiasm and faith in the Turkey of the future and who believes in the potential and in the history of his people.

Former Minister of State Bülent Akarcalı and the Rector of the International University of Antalya Prof. Dr. Abdullah Yavaş joined us and livened our conversation with their short speeches.

Mr. Erdem said that our country might lack natural energy sources and it had indeed endured many storms in the past, but that its greatest power and capital were its people. He noted that recently it had been possible to see the footprints of our entrepreneurs all over the world, form the farthest corners of Sibiria to the continent of Africa, from Che's Latin America to the aborigines' native land, Australia. He reminded us that Turkish companies have reached a point where they were able to make a bid for and buy the famous brands, that our government was now able to plan decades ahead, that many Turkish academicians were making us proud with their work and success in many of the world's reputable universities and that we were getting used to see our compatriots occupying high positions in international institutions.


The secret of this success lies in the faith, determination and patience of the people whom once wasn’t deemed worthy of even making its own laws. Mr. Erdem believes firmly that the virtues of the Turkish people was the factor which carried the country to an exceptional position in the historical scenes and that in the globally changing world of today Turkey's active and alternative role was not a dream but the country’s inevitable fate.

In order to become a worthy competitor among the world’s leading powers, our people must have more rights ad more freedom and our government must adopt a fully democratic structure, added our guest, these are the important and necessary jobs ahead of us, in addition, Turkey has to find additional energy sources which will make us less dependent energy-wise on other countries.

Mr. Erdem quoted the saying of our ancestors: "If we want peace, we have to be ready for war", saying that the in-house production of defense industry products of high added value was very important. In his opinion the government’s vision for 2023 consists of consistent and mathematically verifiable goals. However, unless we possess one of the ten biggest and most qualified ports of the world, these goals won't be that easy to realize. “Water and grain will be the two commodities fought for in the future” says Mr. Erdem. Therefore the speedy completion of the GAP, DAP and KOP projects is of the utmost importance.


In the speech he delivered following Mr. Erdem, former Minister of State Bülent Akarcalı touched upon the subject of the need for a new constitution which would reflect the Turkish people’s emotions and values. The new constitution must be democratic and libertarian, said Mr. Akarcalı, informing us about two basic approaches adopted in the European and American constitutions. While the American constitution determines only the prohibitions and the remaining areas are allocated to freedoms, the constitutions of Continental Europe and Turkey only determine the freedoms and the remaining areas are allocated to prohibitions. The new constitution being currently planned will be expanding freedoms as much as possible and therefore it will allow an unprecedented advance for Turkey in this area, he said. The Rector of the International University of Antalya, Prof. Dr. Abdullah Yavaş told us how an excellent career in America and returned to Turkey. The idea of founding a new international university in Antalya changed his whole life. The university is planned to open its doors to students – 50% of which will be international students - next year. Mr. Yavaş told us that their goal was to make Turkey an educational attraction center which would draw the best brains in the world. Our May Divan Conversation offered us the opportunity to listen to three esteemed guests from the business, political and education sectors. The participants enjoyed greatly the rich content and our guests’ candid talks and we said goodbye with the hope of meeting again in the next session.


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