Izmir Economics Congress Academic Coordinator Prof. Dr. Mehmet Hüseyin Bilgin, in his opening speech at the “100th Anniversary of Izmir Economy Congress”, reminded that before the Republic was declared, on February 17, 1923, the “Turkish Economy Congress” was held in the historical Banka-Han building in Izmir at that time.
Noting that the said congress was held to determine the economic policy of the new Turkey, Bilgin said, “Exactly 100 years after the first congress, exactly 10 years after the last 5th congress, and this time in the same venues with the main theme of ‘Turkish Economy on the Way to Become a Global Economic Power’. we are.” he said.
Bilgin pointed out that in the first century of the Republic of Turkey, significant progress was made especially in the fields of infrastructure, education, health and urbanization, and used the following statements:
“On the other hand, the industrial sector has also made great progress and the Turkish economy has succeeded in integrating into the global economy. Our main goal in the Turkish Century is to go beyond the middle-income and join the league of the rich and to be among the top 10 economies of the world. For this purpose, one of the main reasons for our chronic current account deficit. We need to reduce foreign dependency on energy, solve structural problems such as inflation, selectively transform our industry in an innovative way, and increase our high value-added production and exports.”
Stating that the economic evaluation of the first century of the Republic will be made at the congress, Bilgin continued as follows:
“In this congress, the roadmap of the target of being among the top 10 economies of the world in the century of Turkey will be revealed. On the other hand, the issues on the agenda of the global economy will be discussed and the developments expected to leave their mark on the next century will also be discussed. In the meantime, the historical building where the first congress was held, Mr. Governor. It has been reconstructed in accordance with the original with the intense efforts and support of our President, and it will be inaugurated today with the presence of our President.”
“Turkey has a very wide set of opportunities to gain in this century”
Speaking at the special session titled “Turkish Economy in the Century of Turkey” held after the opening speeches of the Congress, TOBB Board Member and Izmir Chamber of Commerce President Mahmut Özgener said that Turkey, which came out of the War of Independence 100 years ago, is on the threshold of the Republic, with a participatory spirit. He stated that he primarily dealt with the economic order.
Özgener reminded the words of Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk that national sovereignty can be strengthened with economic independence and stated that the decisions taken for the construction of the future at that time were implemented in the following years.
Expressing that he believes that the roadmap for the second century of the Republic will be prepared with the contributions of Congress participants, Özgener said:
“Izmir has not only been the place where the War of Independence was victorious, but also took its place in history as Gazi and a distinguished city that shaped the history when the foundations of our economic independence were laid. The Izmir Economic Congress was a historical step that strengthened the independence of our nation, which it achieved with the epic struggle at the front, under the leadership of Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, with economic independence. He also determined a direction for New Turkey. All the decisions taken here are still in a guiding position today.”
Özgener gave examples from the decisions taken in the first congress and said:
“Today, we are also faced with a capital-intensive transformation process, and therefore we need more investment and capital and financial resources for this. We must be as smart as 100 years ago and use the opportunities brought by global priorities to the fullest. Turkey’s reshaped global value chain. “Our country, Turkey, has a very wide set of opportunities to gain in this century if it stands in the right place and takes the right decisions.”
“One of the turning points”
Isinsu Kestelli, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Izmir Commodity Exchange, said that the Izmir Economics Congress, which has left its 100th anniversary behind, is one of the most important turning points in which the search for common wisdom to build a nation and the effort to look at the same horizon embodied.
Expressing that the workers, traders, industrialists and farmers and all segments came together to create a new and strong economy at the Congress, which was gathered when the air was still smelling of gunpowder, Kestelli stated that an extraordinary administrative reflex was operating considering the conditions of that day.
Expressing that the 100 years of the Republic were not a rose garden without thorns, and that Turkey faced many challenges, Kestelli said, “A nation that emerged from its ashes with great success in the final is the name of a country that has joined the contemporary civilizations by signing a tremendous structural transformation. ‘Turkey’.” said.
At the end of the day, with Turkey’s agricultural production power of 62 billion dollars for a period, Kestelli is one of the 10 largest agricultural economies in the world and 17 percent of the workforce is still employed in this sector. I think.” he said.
“Technology-centered initiatives need to be brought into the country’s economy”
Erkan Güral, President of the Young Businessmen Confederation of Turkey, was under the leadership of Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk 100 years ago. Pointing out that the foundations of economic independence were laid, he said that important decisions should be taken in order to plan agriculture, industry, social and cultural formations related to Turkey’s future in the next period and to put them into practice.
Emphasizing that new businesses should be opened in Turkey of the day, Güral emphasized that businesses should be created and matured by young entrepreneurs.
Güral drew attention to the importance of exports for the Turkish economy and stated that for this, technological investments should be increased and more technology-centered enterprises with higher efficiency should be brought into the country’s economy.
“It is possible to combine the economic model with the social model”
Osman Yıldız, Deputy Chairman of the HAK-İŞ Confederation, also stated that there is a search for economic models all over the world and drew attention to the importance of fully defining actors, mechanisms and rules.
Pointing out that they see the Izmir Economics Congress as an environment of understanding and search that puts the system on the right foundations in this sense, Yıldız said that there will be speeches in the Congress about the search for an economic model and that a social contract will be formed.
Emphasizing that the said social contract is extremely important in terms of rights and freedoms, Yıldız emphasized that it is possible to combine the economic model with the social model.
Yıldız stated that together with the employers, Turkey needed to take steps to compete with the qualified world, and that the way for union organization should be paved and developed.
Stating that a regular individual income system has not yet been established in Turkey, Yıldız said that if this is implemented, the economy will be relieved and the social contract will be strengthened.
Treasury and Finance Minister Nureddin Nebati addressed the participants as the host at the gala dinner held yesterday within the scope of the Congress. Nebati, who did not attend today’s opening speeches, continues his contacts in Izmir.