Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

Honorary doctorate from Van Yüzüncü Yıl University to Hisarcıklıoğlu

25.12.2019 / Van

Van Yüzüncü Yıl University awarded an honorary doctorate to M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB). Van Governor Mehmet Emin Bilmez attended the ceremony in which Rector Prof. Dr. Hamdullah Şevli awarded Hisarcıklıoğlu an honorary doctorate, who expressed pride in receiving the title, thanked the entire university community. Hisarciklıoğlu was awarded an honorary doctorate for his many activities, such as economic and social contributions to Van during his tenure, boiling schools, providing cash and credit support following the earthquake, supporting many activities for the promotion of the province, as well as contributions to Van in the field of health including an ambulance donation.​

Hisarcıklıoğlu shared his views on entrepreneurship with students and participants after the presentation ceremony. Emphasizing that Van is Turkey's gateway to Central Asia and the Middle East, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “We were always there for Van on good and bad days. We were here the day after the Van earthquake. We've provided the material and financial assistance. We were also here when we broke the Guinness record with the Van Breakfast of our Van Chamber of Commerce and Industry for 52,000 people. Because Van is the apple of our eye. With this vision, we have renewed Kapıköy Customs Gate. In 2007, we built a new school in addition to the construction of The Martyr Mehmet Izdal Elementary School Annex Building. As TOBB, we also gave Van a Science High School.”

- Praise to Van Yüzüncü Yıl University

Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that he attended hundreds of meetings during the year, but that universities were the happiest environment, adding, “I see the future of my country in you young people. I'm hopeful. I'm working more eagerly. Today I'm very happy to be at Van Yüzüncü Yıl University. Our university has written a different success story. Looking at the best universities in the world, even though it is quite young, Van Yüzüncü Yıl University is one of the most established educational institutions in Turkey with 17 faculties, 34,000 students and 49 research and application centers. You have one of the largest campuses in Turkey, enabling all kinds of scientific, social, cultural and sportive activities. You have a lot of discoveries, from flexible, next-generation solar panels to nanofertilizer, exporting information and technology to the world. Thanks to Teknokent, you work closely with business people in the region. Thus, you support the development of not only Van, but also the region and our country. I heartily congratulate our academicians and administrative staff, especially our Rector, Prof. Dr. Hamdullah Şevli.”

Pointing out that Rector Şevli also has a success story to be followed, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “In Van, where he was born, raised and earned his Doctorate, he now serves as Rector.

Despite his young age, he has published and won many awards in prestigious international journals. It is a great honor to receive an honorary doctorate from such a dynamic university like our Rector himself. I'd like to thank the Senate and the board again.”

- The power of nations is measured by entrepreneurs

Hisarciklıoğlu, who told the students about his experiences in entrepreneurship, said that entrepreneurship is the way to prosper. In 1912, Hisarcıklıoğlu shared the findings made by a foreign writer about Turks, and said that Turks generally wanted to be civil servants and soldiers, whereas today the need is for entrepreneurs.

Hisarciklıoğlu said that the power of nations in the world is measured not by their cannons and guns but by their entrepreneurial power, “Look at the stories of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the rise of Germany and Japan, underlying them is entrepreneurship. You'll see that the 20 richest countries are the 20 most entrepreneurial. Now countries are importing entrepreneurs. 51% of entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley were born outside the United States. Currently, just one entrepreneur employs 10 people in Turkey. In other words, the solution to unemployment is entrepreneurship. So we need to get more entrepreneurs!  With this vision, I have traveled every centimeter of our country. I’ve spoken about entrepreneurship. We have established the biggest women's and young entrepreneurs' councils in Turkey. We founded TOBB University of Economics and Technology. Well, if you ask me to describe an entrepreneur in one sentence: For me, the entrepreneur is the one who crosses borders. Who did you think of when talking about space exploration? Russia and the United States. In space, two countries would be in a power struggle. Now, when you think of space, it's not a country, it's Elon Musk.”

- Golden advice for young people

Hisarciklıoğlu expressed that it is very important to dream for entrepreneurship, as an entrepreneur of 40 years, he said that he still dreams every day. “It's the only place where we don't have borders,” he said, referring to the need to combine the dreams with goals. Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “If you don't set a goal, you'll only be a dreamer. So it's like shooting without aiming. But if you have a goal with your dream, you focus, draw a road map, then you won't get lost on the path to the dream. There's no success without hard work. Mehmet Akif said, ‘Those who come up from behind, run over those who sleep on the road.’ There's no living for those who stand still. Progress doesn't stop. If you stop, you'll surely get crushed.

Innovation is bringing new customs to the old village! Inventing is innovation. It's doing what's not done. Or doing what's done in a new way. Brand whatever you do. Turkey is a great paradise! There's no better! This year, Spain reached Turkey's 12-month tourism revenue in 5.5 months. Van is working to increase its brand value. You have 6 geographically marked products, products that are in the evaluation process, and you've made Van Breakfast and Van Cat a brand. You've taken care of our local values; Van's attraction has increased.

You shouldn't be afraid to take risks. A man who's not brave can't be an entrepreneur. The key to success is not giving up! There is surely failure behind great achievements. But the important thing is to know how to get back on your feet when you fall. Those who don't stop at losing will surely win. There are those who call me and say 'There’s no money, how can we be entrepreneurs?' Now one computer, one garage is enough. As long as it's a dream. Apple, Google, Amazon. Look, they were all set up in garages.

Of course, we also need to develop a culture of partnership. Those who form partnerships always reach higher. We have to stop this jealousy. There grace and prosperity in unity; anguish in dissent. Everyone should have their golden rules. Mine are: Savings are what will net profit; the trick is honesty; check first, trust afterwards; trusting memory is always wrong; there can be no covering for work.

I summarize my personal experience in life as follows: The quality of the idea is more important than the color of the idea. The quality of man is also more important than their opinion. Be a quality person. Read, investigate, question.

Stay away from structures that wish to make you their servants or demand absolute obedience, and are closed to criticism. Be conscientious in everything you do, in any environment you're in. Be fair. Work for a world where right makes might; not might makes right. And don't marginalize anyone. Don't think of them as the other. Preserve your unity. I'm hopeful for the future of my country.

How far we've come in the last 30 years. But we still have a long way to go. 100 years ago in a burned-down country, when everyone said it was over, we got back on our feet. Don't forget where we came from and what we accomplished. You're the ones who can do better.”

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