We started the day at the headquarters of TUSKON, the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists. This organization was founded in 2006 and focuses on bridging relationships between member companies and international partners. It currently has approximately 150,000 member companies from different sectors.
TUSKON holds conferences for different industries every year and is currently working on a construction conference in Turkey next month.
Its officials informed us of the active role its member companies are playing in the Turkish economy and their goal to grow the economy to $500 billion in exports by the republic’s centennial in 2023.
The organization has made great strides towards enhancing the role of women in business and currently 25% of its Board members are women.
Our second meeting of the day was with the Journalists and Writers Foundation. This foundation was established in 1994 and has been working on merging the modern and traditional thoughts in Turkish society.
The Foundation is working using the principle of “peace building through education.” They are promoting education and working on different platforms that cover aspects such as women’s issues, dialogue and research.
We spoke with one of its members and were provided with a brief history of Turkey and the Turkish culture.
The final organization we met with was Kisme Yok Mu. This is a relief organization that is similar to the Red Cross and has worked on relief for numerous disasters worldwide.
Kisme Yok Mu is a volunteer organization and works 100% on donations. They work with a sister organization, Embrace Relief, and are recently assisting with relief efforts for the tragedy at the Soma Mine. Contributions to assist in these efforts can be made directly through Embrace Relief’s site: DONATE NOW
Today we also had the chance to do our first sightseeing.
Istanbul is divided by the Bosphorus Strait. This strait divides Europe from Asia. We crossed from the European side to the Asian side to Çamlıca Hill.
Çamlıca Hill is a hill that overlooks the city of Istanbul. On the west you have incredible views of the Bosphorus and the European side of Istanbul. On the east, you can see the vast amount of booming construction taking place in Istanbul.
If you walk down the main walkway you will find a beautiful flower garden, lookout points, ice cream cars, and street vendors selling souvenirs.