Tech businessman Erol Bilecik to head Turkey’s top business organization
Jale Özgentürk - ISTANBULErol Bilecik, a leading tech businessman, is set to become the new president of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) in an unusual move, according to sources close to the matter.
TÜSİAD will elect its new president in a general board meeting in the upcoming days.
Bilecik, who is the CEO of Index Group, will stand as the only candidate for the role. His presidency will mark a first for TÜSİAD, as he will be the first businessperson of a technology background to lead the organization, which has been run mostly by top bosses or professional executives of other sectors.
The position is seen as a difficult one due to controversies it experienced with the government in recent years.
TÜSİAD is currently headed by Cansen Başaran-Symes, who decided she will not continue as president, according to sources.
Two leading businessmen, Koç Holding Vice Chair Ali Koç and Şükrü Ünlütürk, from the Aegean province of İzmir, were expected to run for the role. However, sources said they will not, leaving Bilecik as the sole candidate.
Bilecik, who is a computer engineer, currently runs Index, which is the Turkey distributor of more than 200 technology giants. The company has said it planned to focus on the Internet of Things in 2017.
“We should always promote democracy. For Turkey to progress, IT technologies are crucial. We need to turn our young population into tech producers rather than tech consumers. We need leadership and speed to achieve this goal. Brave decisions must be taken,” he told daily Hürriyet in a recent interview.
TÜSİAD has been one of the leading advocates of the Industry 4.0 in Turkey.