Turkey’s Unbelievable Potential
Author: Harm Custers – Head of Marketing at Takii Europe B.V.
I have just returned from yet another inspiring business trip to Turkey. Not my first – as I have been visiting Turkey frequently since 1995. In these past years, I have seen the country develop. And each time I set foot in Turkey, the country continues to amaze me with its unique characteristics and unbelievable potential.
Visiting our Takii Turkey breeding station in Antalya, I realised what makes me so enthusiastic about Turkey. The attached picture says it all: it’s people! At first glance, this seems to be a regular photo of the Takii Turkey breeding team. But please have a closer look. What do you notice? For me, there are three striking things: the friendly spirit, the average age of below forty and the female majority.
Turkish people are famous for their hospitality, the cornerstone of their culture. The friendly and generous welcoming feels warm and safe. A metaphor for this is the glass of tea that they offer to you in most places. The ritual of drinking tea together symbolises not only hospitality but also the good intentions on behalf of the host. As from my experience, a bond (that starts with tea!), is a bond for life.
Turkey has grown to a population of 90 million inhabitants. The average age is relatively low at 30.9 years. In comparison: Japan (46.7), Europe (41.7), USA (38.1) and China (37.4). Our Turkish breeding station reflects the average as the team is full of young and talented colleagues — all with a solid educational background, ambitious attitude and a pioneering spirit.
In an earlier blog, I argued for more women in our (Agri)business. I am happy to see that women are well-represented in the breeding team of Takii Turkey! They bring in precision, sensitivity, creativity and care, which leads to great results: right varieties having both rational and emotional benefits.
Without a doubt, Turkey is currently experiencing challenges. Their economy is in recession, rising unemployment and increasing inflation -which puts pressure on society and its people. But this does not stop the Turkish people; they work harder than ever before. They are hopeful and incredibly resilient as history has proven that they can overcome challenging times.
Flying back to Amsterdam, I had a stopover in Istanbul Airport. Another amazing experience: the airport moved to a new location, 35km north of the city. I could hardly believe my eyes when being at this beautiful, brand new and enormous airport — an investment of $12(!) billion in total. When the entire airport is completed, it will be able to handle 200 million passengers a year – making it the biggest in the world and the largest infrastructure project Turkey has ever undertaken.
Again an example of unbelievable Turkish potential……