I started my business life at Diyarbakır in 1946 when I was 19 years old. Those years, when the Second World War had been replaced by the Cold War, constituted a period where Turkey had very few or almost no industry at all; the industry and commerce were controlled by local minorities. Turkey experienced a crust alteration after 1950. Turkish entrepreneurs were more inclined to industry and commerce, therefore the business life was rapidly developing.
There was not enough capital potential for the realization of large investments while the trained technical personnel were scarce and insufficient. So, most of the large investments were being realized by foreign companies.
I permanently moved my commercial affairs from Diyarbakır to Ankara in the year of 1953. My commercial and industrial vision towards the future was rather wide. I kept on working with this perspective without forgetting the past, by always looking ahead and planning to reach difficult targets. My first industrial attempt was the Brick Factory (with a capacity of 90 million bricks/year) that I have established at the locality of Kepekli Boğazı-Ankara in 1971.
I presented ready-mixed concrete production and distribution facilities with a 200.000 m3/year capacity to the service of our people in 1974 with ISTAŞ Co. Inc., which I have established by pioneering a great reform in the construction sector of Turkey. Then, I presented another investment to the service of Antalya in 1987 by realizing a similar successful attempt at a regional scale.
As the pioneer of this sector, I am very glad to see today that ready-mixed concrete production and distribution factories which have introduced quality and speed to the construction sector, have been built all around the country and it is very difficult for me to find proper words to express my satisfaction and pride.
In 1975 I assumed the pioneering role again in the mining sector by establishing ÖZMER Artificial and Natural Marble Industry Corp. My enterprise led the marble production with wire cutting technology in marble reserves of various regions, such as AFYON, UŞAK, DENİZLİ and executed the exportation of marble after processing raw marble blocks in our brand new factories. This is how, I believe, we contributed to the creation of high value added in this sector. There were only 25-30 facilities in this sector at that time, while more than 700 facilities are scattered all around the country today. I believe to have contributed significantly to processed marble exportation which today occupies a significant percentage share in the general exports of Turkey.
While maintaining these activities in the fields of production and exportation, at the head of my construction company which provides esteemed, reliable and high quality service since then, I have realized several construction and contracting works such as universities, research hospitals, sugar production plants, facilities with social and educational objectives, water dams, highways and main roads.
Our companies have been developing and gaining strength in spite of several economical, political and social crises and turmoil that have occurred in the last 60 years of this country. There is no doubt that the most important factor that lies behind this success is that We have always attributed maximum care to maintaining a proper distance between our companies and all types of political entities.
I have also kept investing in large industrial facilities, which create additional employment for our country and contribute to our exports revenues even in the heaviest economical crisis that prevailed in the last decade or so. One of our industrial companies, ÖZMAK Corp. has put ERW black and galvanized pipe facilities of 40.000 tons/year capacity spiral welded pipe facility has also commenced production in the year of 2002 in spite of several crisis which occurred one after another.
We are determined to maintain our company's development, improvement and growth process with our more than 1200 employees since we believe in and depend on the inherent wealth of our country, noble qualities of our supreme nation, and the leading role that our government plays in the further development of our country. We are hence, looking at the future with great hope.
Working and producing without deviating from principles based on REALISM, SCIENCE and PATIENCE, is my firm recommendation to younger generations. They should continuously renew and improve themselves without being illuded with temporary or limited time successes and by keeping in mind that there is no limit for learning, scientific advancement and creativity.
I sincerely wish that the 21st century would bring good omens and blessing for our country, all of humanity and that peace would prevail in the world.