Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

We are building a customs office as befits İstanbul and Turkey

17.09.2013 / İstanbul

The foundation laying ceremony for the new Halkalı Customs Office facilities which will be built in Büyükçekmece with the build-operate-transfer model was attended by the President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, the Customs and Commerce Minister Hayati Yazıcı, MPs, bureaucrats as well chamber and exchange presidents.​

The ceremony began with the welcoming speech of the GTİ Inc. President Arif Parmaksız. Parmaksız provided information about the facility and thanked those who contributed to its construction.


Taking to the podium after this, TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that they are building a customs office as befits İstanbul and Turkey.


Stating that it is an important day for the Turkish business community and foreign trade, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “We’ve always lived by the words that the most beneficent of people are those who are beneficent to other people. We’ve come together today for an occasion beneficent to the private sector, foreign trade and Turkey. We are moving Halkalı Customs to Büyükçekmece. Lead by our Minister, we are happy and excited to have this chance to be beneficent to everyone.”


Thanking Minister Yazıcı on behalf of the Turkish private sector, TOBB President Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “You have helped the chambers and exchanges and the private sector whenever it needed to this day. We have overcome obstacles together, shouldered burdens together and served to the best of our abilities. The Prime Minister has rendered great services for the private sector and Turkey. He has signed all reforms aimed at opening the way for the private sector in recent years. We renovated the land customs gates with the support of our Prime Minister and continue to do so.


They’ve done great things in regards to exporters like beginning the authorized sponsor project. This authorization frees the holder from having to waste time on bureaucracy at the customs, finishing their paperwork in their warehouses and passing through customs without stopping. The Customs and Commerce Ministry opened the Quick Pass Lane at the Kapıkule Customs Gate for our logisticians who make their statements prior to arriving at customs via TIR EPD. We are the ones who feels the benefit of these improvements the best. Ziya Gökalp said, ‘To think and to say are easy; to live and to succeed are difficult.’ We thank the Prime Minister as the Turkish private sector.


No excuses can replace success,” said Hisarcıklıoğlu and went on, “We did not make up excuses; we took risks, worked hard and succeeded together. I heartily congratulate every entrepreneur and the Turkish private sector who took risks, invested, produced and created jobs for the prosperity of this country. The architects of this success are here. The opinion leaders are here. The chamber and exchange presidents are here. You are the ones who made this success possible, I thank you.”


- “We are building a customs office as befits both İstanbul and Turkey”


Reminding that Halkalı Customs is an important place in Turkey’s foreign trade, the TOBB President said, “It has served our exporters, importers and logisticians for 30 years. Approximately 700 TIR vehicles are processed every day. Last year, 21 billion USD of our 152 billion USD exports and 17 billion USD of our 237 billion USD imports passed through Halkalı Customs. That means 10% of our foreign trade passes through Halkalı Customs.


Halkalı Customs has gotten surrounded by the growing city of İstanbul. It has become unbearable for exporters, importers and logisticians. The traffic jams go on for kilometers each day. The situation is also adversely effecting the lives of the area’s populace. It is for these reasons that we as TOBB took action. In order to prepare the infrastructure for our 2023 goals, we are moving the Halkalı Customs to the Büyükçekmece Çatalca Area.


Our affiliate, Customs and Tourism Enterprises Inc. which has been modernizing customs gates since 2005, will be renovating the Halkalı Customs under the build-operate-transfer model. The new Halkalı Customs Complex will cover an area of 220,000 square meters with 60,000 being in-doors. In order to speed up operations, we are constructing the areas for exports and imports independent of each other.  We are constructing a new complex which will house everything our exporters, importers and logisticians could need. We are building a customs office as befits İstanbul and Turkey. We will be investing a total of 154 million TL. Hopefully we will complete this project in a short amount of 6 months by May 2014 and start serving our exporters and importers.”


- 300 million TL investment


The TOBB President said that Turkey has great goals for 2023 and that nobody can reach these goals without hard work.


Reminding that, in this regard, they’ve teamed up with chambers and exchanges to modernize Kapıkule, İpsala, Hamzabeyli, Sarp, Nusaybin, Habur and Cilvegözü customs gates, spending 300 million TL and paying 234 million in taxes.


Thanks to the new customs gates, the private sector saves 410 million TL each year, reported the TOBB President and said, “Today, 14 million passengers pass through the customs gates we’ve built. In a year, 2.5 million TIRs and 5.5 vehicles pass through.”


Stating that the UN points to Turkey’s customs gates as “best practice”, Hisarcıklıoğlu went on to say that it was not their job to give businessmen money, but to make it easier for them to earn it.


Afterwards, Customs and Commerce Minister Hayati Yazıcı stated that they put great importance on customs gates with regards to Turkey’s increasing foreign trade volume and went on to provide information on how the new customs office will differ from its present state. Minister Yazıcı said, “Our goal is to ensure that all of our customs procedures are sped up, trade is conducted rapidly and safely.”

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