In his speech at MÜSİAD’s 21st Plenary Meeting, TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “In order to reach this goal, we need to change the system from the ground up. The goals of the people do not correspond with the present system any more. The present system prevents this nation from realizing its full potential. We are walking when we could be running.”​


Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

The goals of the people do not correspond to the present system

28.04.2012 / İstanbul


In his speech at MÜSİAD’s 21st Plenary Meeting, TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “In order to reach this goal, we need to change the system from the ground up. The goals of the people do not correspond with the present system any more. The present system prevents this nation from realizing its full potential. We are walking when we could be running.”​


TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu attended the 21st Plenary Meeting of the Private Industrialists and Businessmen Association (MÜSİAD). Making a speech there, TOBB President Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that MÜSİAD has filled a void in Turkey from the day it was established and said, “It has become indispensable for Turkey. It has acted as a school for Anatolian entrepreneurs on their journey to becoming businessmen. It has worked to make peace, dialogue and arbitration dominant over fighting, conflict and polarization.”

Emphasizing that MÜSİAD President Ömer Cihat Vardan has a very successful four year period behind him; Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that Vardan has achieved many important successes both for their members and for Turkey.

- “The first to support the Turkey Production Platform was from MÜSİAD”
Stating that they have been in close cooperation with MÜSİAD from the day he took office, the TOBB President went on, “During the period MÜSİAD has been vocal in DEİK. It has contributed to the works of the Economic Development Foundation. Recall that the global crisis occurred right after Ömer Cihat took office. Economies thought to be strong shook to their foundations. At that time, those with dire expectations of Turkey and those thinking that Turkey would succumb to the crisis were in evidence. As the umbrella organization of the Turkish business world arbitrated with our government and worked to prevent our business world from postponing investments. At least as important was breaking the psychology of crisis and addressing expectations. We rapidly formed the ‘Turkey Production Platform’ and started a campaign encompassing all of Turkey. We urged the people of Turkey to keep investing, employing and taking part in commerce. We said that we have the power and the conviction to do it. I can proudly say that the first institution to support this Platform was MÜSİAD.”

- We defied the global crisis

Stating that the Turkish business world has defied the global crisis and has come out of the crisis stronger, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “Watch out; on the one hand the economic crisis in Europe is getting worse while political crises are rife to the south. In the last year, 4 heads of state have been toppled by their people. Turkey, amid this ring of fire, has achieved a record with 8.5% growth in 2011, becoming for the first time the third fastest growing country in the world. We exported a total of 135 billion Dollars while our region boiled around us. This is a record in the history of the Republic. In the last year, the private sector invested a total of 140 billion Dollars. 1.3 million people found employment. Our economic success was such that young people from Europe, to where once our people went to find employment, started learning English in the hopes that they would find employment in İstanbul.

- “The main factor of the success story is the environment of trust and stability achieved in the last 10 years”

“This success was brought on by you thanks to the environment of trust and stability,” said Hisarcıklıoğlu and went on, “You did this by investing, by producing. You did it by combining the sweat of your brow with that of your mind and pursuing legitimate earnings. You did it by imposing your ethics on trade; by carrying on the values of Anatolia to global markets. There are among those of you here today who started off with no capital at all and wrote entrepreneurial success stories. There are those who entered into the revered Prophet’s profession with the culture inherited from their elders. There are MÜSİAD members among you here those who invest in the future of this country, who export and provide employment. This is, of course, commerce, search for livelihood and investment. It is also the race to be beneficent to people. We believe that, ‘the most beneficent of people is the one that is beneficent to other people’. Being able to provide employment to other people, to keep them fed and comfortable is the greatest of charities. I would like to congratulate all of you who pursue a legitimate livelihood, who spend their earnings in investments and employment; for charity and good.”

Emphasizing that the main factor this success story is the environment of trust and stability cultivated in the last 10 years, Hisarcıklıoğlu said that their decision making processes have sped up and that each step is taken with conviction.

Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that the public-private sector consultation mechanisms have been utilized in this period and that all decisions affecting the private sector have been consulted upon with the private sector and that structural reforms on hold for years have been rapidly enacted. He thanked the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on behalf of the Turkish business world for enabling this period of stability and reform.

- Why the 2023 goals are important

Stating that they have much larger goals, the TOBB President said, “Our government, business world and nation are focused on the 2023 goals. We share the same goal as the state and people, the same ideal to be one of the ten largest economies of the world. We will have an economy of 2 trillion Dollars and export 500 billion Dollars.

Why are the 2023 goals important? Because this means reaching a target, it means every individual in Turkey becoming richer. In Turkey, when it enters the top 10, per capita income would increase by 2.5 times, reaching 25,000 Dollars. Then, our citizens will attain the quality of life of those of Europe. Our citizens will reach what they’ve deserved for a long time.”

- The goals of the people no longer correspond with the present system

Emphasizing that in order to reach this goal, the system must be rebuilt from the ground up; Hisarcıklıoğlu went on, “Because the goals of the people no longer correspond with the present system. The present system prevents us from realizing much of our potential. We have the power to run but we are walking. The clothes that we have on are no longer big enough for this body. Now, you have to tailor new clothes. This time the tailor will be the people themselves.

To this day, they always said the people don’t know any better. They said that they would write it up and the people would follow. This is why the present system has alienated everyone. Everyone who thought differently has been alienated. People have been classified according to their thoughts, beliefs and even the clothes they wear. There were such days that the children of this land felt they weren’t home in these lands. They even segregated the business world. I know what this means! So do you! We lived through the pain of those days together! It wasn’t just us that lost, though. In the end it was our country and people that lost.

Now, the people have something to say. Now, we have to construct a system which doesn’t alienate anyone according to their beliefs, sect and their clothes. We must establish a system which ensures freedom of thought, enterprise, religion and conscience. We must write a constitution which 74 million will stand up and say, ‘This is my constitution’. Now, the TBMM says that the constitution will be written by hand of the people. The new constitution will no longer be the result of the decisions of the elite, intermediary regimes and coups; it will be the constitution the people want.”

- Constitution Platform

Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “We have established the Constitution Platform along with 22 professional organizations, syndicate confederations and civil society organizations which encompass the whole nation. We are not expressing our views as organizations. Instead, we are asking the true owners of the constitution, the people. For the first time in Turkey, participatory democracy is taking place. The citizen will directly take part in the system. The more we talk, the more we see that we have much to talk about. The more we talk, the more we see that we have much more in common. MÜSİAD is contributing greatly to this process. I would like to thank President Vardan and the MÜSİAD community.”

- “What takes us to our goal will be the unity of hearts”

Stating that the constitution written by the hand of the people will define the future of the country, TOBB President Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “On this journey, our greatest treasure and power will be our unity and solidarity. What takes us to our goal will be unity of hearts. I believe that the new MÜSİAD administration will raise the bar. I congratulate your whole community and hope that it will benefit our country. May Allah speed us on our way and keep our words and works right.”

- Prime Minister Erdoğan

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, stating that Turkey has grown by 8.5% in 2011, thanked MÜSİAD and its members for their great contributions to this end on behalf of the country and nation.

Stating that MÜSİAD has shown a principled stance in Turkey becoming more democratic, more civil, and in the furthering of rights and freedoms to democratic standards, Erdoğan thanked MÜSİAD and its members once again for standing unwaveringly besides freedom, rights and justice.

- MÜSİAD President Vardan

MÜSİAD President Ömer Cihad Vardan stated that they have not relented, given up in the last 22 years and have always stood by the truth.

Stating that they are producing 15% of Turkey’s exports and 105 billion Dollars of the national income, Vardan also said that they are providing employment to 1.2 million people.

Vardan said, “Ultimately, MÜSİAD has transformed its members from baby birds waiting to be fed to parents who feed and develop their regions and the country. Many successful ministers, National Assembly members, bureaucrats and academics have been matured by MÜSİAD.”

Stating that with the model they’ve put forth, Vardan said that they have pioneered the development of civil initiative both within Turkey and without, reaching 119 contact points in 47 countries.

Pointing out the fact that leaving the office of presidency is by no means an indication of retirement, Vardan said, “There are no retirees in MÜSİAD. I will continue to serve this select community our beautiful country until the end of my life as a member of MÜSİAD.”

Touching on his book “CİHAD and MÜSİAD”, in which Vardan has written his memoirs as MÜSİAD President, he said, “In the book, I’ve tried to recount striking situations in my time in office, a little bit of CİHAD and a lot of MÜSİAD.”

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