Elcab Kablo Profil Sanayi Ticaret AŞ Board of Directors Chairman Nejdet Tıskaoğlu:
“From the past to the present day, we have
emphasized on 52 different national channels the importance of ‘Come Home’ and how this will be the savior of Turkey”
First of all I would like to express our condolences for those who have lost their lives and sympathies to those who have lost their family, friends and loved ones in the 7.7 and 7.6 earthquakes centered in the Pazarcık and Elbistan districts of Kahramanmaraş, where nearly 13.5 million people lived, effecting an area of 11 of our provinces and causing major destruction that left us all in a state of mourning and deep sadness. Also, as a citizen of Zonguldak, I want to express my deep gratitude to our miners, who showed exemplary strength in utilizing their mining techniques to join in the life-saving rescue and recovery efforts.
While we mourn the lives lost and continue our work to help the victims that lost their city, their employment, their homes and their families in this earthquake that was the largest natural disaster in the history of the Republic, the issue we must focus on in the next phase is the economic destruction caused by the earthquake and how we will overcome this destruction. Especially since an earthquake is probable in Istanbul, which comprises nearly half of Turkey’s economy. If we need to make a projection on the general costs of earthquakes, I can say that these costs can be divided into two categories. The first is the cost of rebuilding damaged buildings and cities, and the second is the cost of lost production capacity. Undoubtedly, the way to resurrect the regions affected by such earthquakes that are very severe natural disasters, is through the resumption of production in these cities. We will recover with the government and the people of this country hand in hand.
This crucial situation, which has affected every segment of society and left deep scars, has reminded us once again of the precautions we should take regarding the possible Istanbul earthquake. According to the Ministry of Trade’s trade data for 2022 the figure for Turkey’s export was recorded as 254.2 billion USD, with the automotive, chemicals, garment industry, steel and electrical-electronic products topping the list. A 99.4 billion USD portion of this, or in other words a 43% portion, belongs to Istanbul, the heart of Turkey with a population of over 16 million, so if an earthquake should happen here this would effectively stop the pulse of the country’s economy. This is why it is essential for the economy to be spread throughout Anatolia and for industrialists and investments to return to Anatolia rather than being restricted to a few main provinces.
With the objective of helping every city develop economically and socially by reversing the migrating trend to cities that has been taking place for many years to meet the workforce demands of industrializing cities with an exemplary undertaking that resonates not only regionally but nationally, we as the Zonguldak Association of Industrialists and Business People (ZONSİAD), in which I am the chairman, started the ‘Come Home’ project to prevent excessive concentration in cities and provide opportunities for rural production so that all of our cities can become self-sufficient and our national production can rise in the international arena , having envisioned what a major risk concentrating production, labor and industry in large cities is when natural disasters like floods and earthquakes occur. Our project, significant in terms of spreading the economy throughout Anatolia rather than restricting it to a few main provinces and encouraging industrialists and investors to return to Anatolia, became the agenda by being broadcasted through 52 different channels. The appeal I made to industrialists 3 years ago on the subject of natural disasters and the earthquake disaster that traumatized our people deeply affecting 11 provinces, showed how valuable our project is for all to see and how important “come home” is. In this context, the “Come Home Project” is the way to save Turkey and this important detail we have been emphasizing for 3 years and finally just being discussed by nongovernmental organizations and chamber presidents in Istanbul. A very serious effort is necessary for Turkey to be prepared for the next possible earthquake. This is why our greatest hope is that our project will receive support and our government will provide incentives on this subject in Anatolia to enable new fields of employment to be established through private industry areas in rural regions in an effort to reverse migration to big cities, disperse the concentration of population and industry in Istanbul throughout Turkey and thereby eliminate the current structure which is dependent on a main center where all the risk is concentrated.