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  • Writer's pictureÖztürk Holding

Öztürk Holding focuses on the whole world with its unlimited volunteer work

Updated: Jan 9

Öztürk Holding, which carries the overseas Turkish tradition to 56 countries, focuses on the environment as well as social benefit, especially children and women, with its tours exceeding 6 billion dollars. The company, which has institutionalized its volunteering activities with the foundation it established, aims to help all climates where it cannot afford or have no say.

For 33 years, Öztürk Holding has been focusing on leaving economic, ecological and social values to the world of the future with the power it derives from knowledge, innovation, trust and continuous development.

2001 is an important turning point for Öztürk Holding, which has undertaken world-renowned projects with the strong network and reference network it has established since 1989, when it was established as a group of companies with 100 percent foreign capital.

Öztürk Holding, which started its activities as a family company, fulfilled nearly 3 million m2 of contracting works in Turkey for institutions including Unilever, Shell and national and international banks, and was important in expanding abroad with the contracting work it received in Bulgaria during this period. It became a reference. Öztürk Holding, which completed its contracting work in Germany ahead of schedule after Bulgaria, crossed paths with French Allianz for the project of building prefabricated military hospitals in 33 African countries. Öztürk Holding, which created a strong network in Africa during this contracting project completed in approximately 3 years as EPC Contractor, also contributed to the employment of many people in the countries where it is present and to the strengthening of international communication.

Öztürk Holding, which established a fund company called Dutinvest in Dubai in 2004 as part of its partnership with the Al Maktum Family, created resources for its projects in Africa with a unique modeling consisting of the synthesis of eastern and western financial systems. Continuing its growth by establishing a partnership in Oman, the company has also been carrying out projects in Africa, the Middle East and, for the last 6 years, in the Asian market, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. We talked about its social benefit-oriented activities with Yusuf Öztürk, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Öztürk Holding, which has added foreign trade and education in addition to the fields of construction, energy, oil, mining, finance and defense.


> Was being located mainly in Africa a planned choice, a coincidence, or did the course of things lead to this result? We are overseas Turks coming from the tradition of Piri Reis, who prepared the world map. For us, climate, time and place do not matter; As long as we can go. We are a society with high intelligence and manual skills and we can do anything; Let's just see. As overseas Turks, if we want, we can make ourselves noticed in every environment we enter. We first listen to the people in the countries we visit, understand their needs, take risks and make money. Our biggest advantage is to find those people and model them with the work we have done before and make a suitable financial formulation. What makes you who you are is the work you do, the knowledge. But when combined with finance, something else happens.

> What is your Africa like? What are you doing to guide Turks who want to do business here?

Africa, which has brought us this power by making us who we are, is a place that is not well known and hesitant to enter. We have come so far by taking the risk, the honesty we show in the projects we carry out and the promises we keep. Turkish products sold in Africa are not known as Turkish goods since they are mostly sold through distributors with the logic that we earn the same money anyway. However, when looking at Africa, businessmen must have a nationalist dimension. Despite our historical heritage and capital stemming from support for the countries there, we have no lobbying, no collaboration, no effective activity. We try to help everyone by sharing information freely, without fear of our place being taken away. However, the destination should be personally examined and known, and resources should be allocated for market research. Otherwise, the problems experienced lead to negativities in the country's reference and reputation.


> What is your position at national and international levels in the sectors you operate in?

Our first locomotive sector in which we exist is construction. We are also very good in the energy sector. In terms of my profession, I am among the top 10 people in the world who can talk about energy. We sell the oil and oil-derived products we produce at the refinery in Basra, 23 percent of which belongs to the Iraqi state, 36 percent to us and the rest to French Elf, through Oman. We operate a bauxite mine in Cameroon. We mine marble in Turkey and export 27 types of products to suit the end user. In defense, we supply products ranging from military equipment to clothing materials according to the needs of countries, especially Africa. We are also present in the field of education with a chain we purchased in Turkey. With our desire to be in the education sector from pre-school, primary, secondary, high school and university, we are preparing to use the educational sets of a well-established school within the scope of our naming rights partnership with Hampshire, England. We are also active in foreign trade.

We have not been doing construction work in Turkey since 2007. We only have our own hotels, shopping malls and investments. We do not do business for the state. We have a tour turnover of $6.1 billion in 2021, meaning an annual balance sheet. Our tour over in the first 6 months of 2022 amounted to approximately 4.3 billion dollars, due to the impact of the projects we carried out with South Sudan.


> What are the projects or investments on your agenda?

We do big projects and when we start a new project, we prepare for about 2.5 years. We signed a 11.5 billion dollar project in Sudan, the financing and all preparations of which were completed at the end of 2.5 years. We can see the next 10 years as we pay attention to the principle of unanimity instead of majority vote in the approval of the country's borrowing in the parliament. Previously, "We've been playing to a sold-out house for 30 years." I had made a statement, and only in South Sudan, we are 10 years away. Sri Lanka, Maldives, Benin, Malawi are all the same. Our future is clear because we do not do a job that is easy and done by everyone. We have no competition with anyone and we do not step on anyone's feet. I can say that we are our own competition.

> What are your main sources of motivation that support you in your activities?

You can do anything if your family's support is behind you. You can walk the intense pace in 56 countries with the support of your family. My children and my wife, who I even took to remote places in Africa, tasted and synthesized those climates. If you don't have a healthy family structure, say I will rule the world as much as you want, I am an overseas Turk; It won't help. I can say that the only place I get strength from is my family. This is the same for leaders around the world. I strive for my country without receiving a letter or reference letter from any government institution in Turkey and without having a 1 TL benefit from any state bank. I became the 18th contractor in the world at ENR. I am a 100 percent foreign company, but the name I chose is Öztürk; real Turk. All my vehicles have Turkish license plates. I love flying the Turkish flag and I am proud of it.


> What do you do to benefit society and the environment with the added value you create?

Taking part in valuations covering companies that provide aid pushed us to institutionalize the initiatives we have already undertaken with a foundation in 2021. With Covid, we received more than 1 million emails requesting help in 2021. We have a foundation called Lonca World Children Education and Health Foundation, which aims to help those in need not only in Turkey but also around the world. With this foundation, we focus primarily on children all over the world and then on women. Since we started doing business in Africa, we contribute to the rehabilitation and meeting the needs of child welfare institutions. In 2007, I took the leadership of the campaign that was effective in preventing the circumcision of girls, one of the biggest problems in Africa. We also provided educational support to many children in Africa. We also support students in the field of education in Turkey. While we are building permanent residences for children who are disadvantaged in some way and creating centers that will undertake their rehabilitation and care, we also have investments that will support their educational needs. I am the founder of the foundation, whose legal infrastructure has been completed as of April 2022. We will carry out this project, which we developed together with our own companies and partners, by financing it with our own resources. With this foundation, we aim to help all climates where we cannot afford to do so.

> Could you give your perspective on whether volunteer work is considered as image or advertising?

The sublimity of extending a helping hand becomes dull when you say this. I don't say who I helped. After giving the help, you should forget about it. People may see aid as a social responsibility project, but this should be sustainable, not instantaneous. If something continues, that help is appropriate. When we move to civil society status with the Foundation, when we develop projects that will be publicly known, completely free of politics, and integrated with the society, we will of course share them. What is sustainable is to create a structure that adds more value every year. I hope we will do the same.


> What are the solutions you have developed to meet the energy needs in Africa?

In response to the serious energy need in Africa, with the influence of being an electrical engineer, I developed a turbine in a container, which I have a world patent for, and shared it with Caterpiller and GB. We first tried this system in Sudan, which provides a power plant mechanism that can be installed in 15 days in countries that need electricity with a turbine placed in a container. I received an award from the World Bank for this project, which made a splash all over the world. We installed solar energy panels in African Union countries. With the project we developed together with the World Bank for 20 years, we provided free electricity to 100 thousand village houses with two very practical panels, an inverter and a jack plug. We also started to produce alternative energies, built thermal power plants, brought power plants by ship and rented them in many countries.

> What do you do to contribute to sustainability?

We focused on losses in energy produced by solar energy projects and developed a serious partnership with a Spanish company. Power plants installed in Turkey do not have storage systems. With our company in England, we focused on this business, which no one else enters because of its high investment. We will create a storage facility by simply purchasing the risk, establishing a system behind the power plant, without reflecting any cost to the company that made the investment. It is a project that aims to close the energy gap while preventing the loss there and contributing to the country's income. A very accurate perspective in terms of sustainable energy policies that no one has seen; Even if they see it, know-how is in the hands of the monopoly company. We made a joint venture agreement with this company, with which we have been doing business abroad for years. Data maps regarding this are currently being received in Turkey. Hopefully we will start in the future.


> Where are you at with your 2022 corporate goals? How will you transition to 2023?

We aim to reach a tour turnover of approximately $6.7 billion by the end of 2022. We aim to make a bigger leap in 2023; Because the period of reaping the fruits of our long-term labor is coming in one or two countries with rich resources and many projects. We especially attach more importance to foreign trade; In this sector, which we have never entered, especially food and health, a very serious purchasing power is created. Since you cannot leave any of these to tomorrow, this field seems profitable to us and we expect a rapid acceleration. In 2023, where we target mostly purchasing-based business, we aim for a growth of 15 percent compared to this year. We plan to turn this into more social benefit.

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