TÜGİK’s origins date back to beginning of 1990’s when our YOUNG BUSINESSMEN, who were marked by their youth, dynamism, patriotism, and passion for their country and nation, and were beginning to enjoy business attainment and the resulting attention in İstanbul, Ankara, İzmir as well as other Anatolian cities like Gaziantep, Denizli, Adana and Bursa, established YOUNG BUSINESSMEN ASSOCIATIONS (GİADs) “to be instrumental in solving the issues facing their provinces and the nation, and their friends, particularly, to develop cooperation, assistance, and economic, social and cultural relationships among themselves, to be influential both in their provinces and in the country at large, and to be a pressure group on the government as required by their NGO status”.
More usually than not, ability of an NGO to pressure the government, influence the public, and help solve local and national issues, depends on a membership structure marked both by quantity and quality as well as sound organization. The Young Businessmen Associations (GİAD) has acted on this justification and perspective to gather in Bursa and form TÜGİK in January 1992, since the then-legislation and -Law of Associations were not allowing uniting, or establishing a federation or confederation.
The following are the milestones in the history of TÜGİK from its inception to date.
* January 1992: Nine GİAD members met in Bursa and declared intention to form TÜGİK. Here, Mr. Şerif Kaynar was elected chairman to conduct its activities.
* September 30-October 3, 1994: At the meeting in Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, the decision to establish TÜGİK was taken.
* October 27-30, 1994: The first Ordinary General Assembly of the High Council of the Young Turkish Businessmen convened in Antalya, at which Mr. Mehmet Bayraktar, then Chairman of GYİAD, was elected Founding Chairman of TÜGİK.
* March 24-26, 1995: The signing ceremony for the agreement-in-principle was held in Uludağ.
* October 22-29, 1995: 2nd Ordinary Assembly of TÜGİK was held in Ankara, at which Mr. Alpan Veryeri, then Chairman of EGİAD, was elected the 2nd Chairman of TÜGİK.
* November 8-10, 1996: 3rd Ordinary Assembly was held in Denizli, at which Mr. Orhan Efe, then Chairman of GESİAD, was elected 3rd Chairman of TÜGİK.
* December 20, 1997: 4th Ordinary General Assembly of TÜGİK was held in Istanbul, at which Mr. Melih Mekik, then Chairman of GYİAD, was elected Chairman of TÜGİK.
* November 10, 1998: the Foundation of TÜGİK was officially established under the Chairmanship of Mr. Melih Mekik.
* 2002: Mr. Erhan Özmen, then Chairman of GAGİAD, was elected Chairman of TÜGİK, and efforts to establish the Confederation was initiated.
* September 3, 2004: Young Businessmen Confederation of Turkey was established under the chairmanship of Mr. Erhan Özmen, the Founding Chairman.
* May 20, 2005: The Confederation convened its first ordinary assembly in Ankara.
* December 2, 2006: Mr. Hazim Sesli was elected Chairman of TÜGİK.
* January 26, 2008: Mr. Hazim Sesli was elected Chairman of TÜGİK to second term.
* January 23, 2010: Mr. Erkan GÜRAL and Mr. Hazim SESLİ were elected Chairman of TÜGİK and Chairman of High Advisory Council respectively.
* June 25, 2010: Both Mr. Erkan GÜRAL and Mr. Hazim SESLİ were elected to second term as Chairman of TÜGİK and Chairman of High Advisory Council respectively.
* February 18 2012: Both Mr. Erkan GÜRAL and Mr. Hazim SESLİ were elected to third term as Chairman of TÜGİK and Chairman of High Advisory Council respectively.
As can be understood from the dates above, TÜGİK, initially established as a high council in October 27-30, 1994, had enjoyed a nation-wide organizational structure and started to respond to needs and expectations of its members and designed solutions for problems of national proportions, well before its establishment as an official confederation. Initiative, and the resulting success, by the Young Businessmen in 1990s to organize on national level is a truly praiseworthy undertaking.
Indeed, the period when TÜGİK started to organize as a foundation marked the most important cornerstone in its history. Since the then-legislation did not allow them to establish a confederation, the Young Businessmen founded the Turkish Young Businessmen Foundation in November 10, 1998, with Melih Mekik, H. Cüneyt Karagülle, A. Nejat Koçer, İbrahim Demireren, H. Ethem Germiyanoğlu, Rafet Balkaroğlu and Dr. Erhan Yaşar as founding members, marking a significant milestone in their efforts to organize on national level.
In response to initiation of the negation process of Turkey’s membership to EU in 2000s, the regulations issued under the Civil Code and the Law of Associations were amended, which, in turn, allowed them to establish regional confederations, and then the Young Businessmen Confederation of Turkey (TÜGİK) in September 3rd, 2004 in Ankara, under the chairmanship of Mr. Erhan Özmen, which distinguishes as the first businessmen confederation of Turkey. By doing so, TÜGİK encouraged establishment of other businessmen confederations, which are still actively operating.
Over the last few years, and as a consequence of 15 years of experience, TÜGİK has now become a businessmen confederation which enjoys higher public impact, media coverage, and influence on both the government and opposition; is as much organized as is possible for an NGO; is capable of online communication with a majority of its members, and of constantly performing activities that determine the public agenda; updates its goals constantly; holds internal trainings and foreign activities to help members and employees develop a corporate culture and a sense of belonging; undertakes major activities abroad; plans each and every one of its activities on the basis of a VISIONARY perspective, and constantly improves both itself and its organizational presence.
In accordance with its purpose of establishment, TÜGİK not only addresses businessmen’s expectations relating to the economy, but as it is also socially responsible to attach importance to, and whenever possible undertake, social support activities. In parallel with improvement of the civil society culture in Turkey, TÜGİK will always continue to have as much capacity and perseverance as it has now to provide solutions to any issue facing the government and the nation.