Working together for a better future
Turkey is amazing in many aspects. One of the main reasons for this is the resilience of its people. No matter how bad things get, we somehow find a way to carry on with life. I am certain that people living in Sweden or New Zealand would not be able to carry on living if they were exposed to just a few days of the events happening in Turkey.
Maybe we should stop behaving a certain way. Maybe we should stop and redesign our education system and governance styles before doing anything else. But that’s not who we are.
In these extraordinary days, the firms trying to add value to the Turkish economy are doing their best to do business and contribute to society. They do this even though financial forecasts and the tax situation are not bright, and really aren’t for their benefit in Turkey. According to a recent report by PWC, between 2014 and 2015, the largest tax ratio increases were in Mexico (2.3 percentage points explained by an increase in taxes on income and profits and in taxes on goods and services as a percentage of GDP) and in Turkey (1.3 percentage points due to higher revenues from taxes on goods and services and higher social security contribution revenues). Other countries with increases in their tax-to-GDP ratio, between 2014 and 2015, of more than one percentage point were Estonia, Greece, Hungary and Slovakia.
This is why I have begun to have respect for foreign firms who keep working in the Turkish market, for the Turkish people, and particularly Turkish businesses.
Siemens is probably the oldest of them all, with over 160 years of operations in Turkey. It still keeps going.
Lenovo is doing everything it can to challenge the market with every new product it brings out. In some sectors it is the leader; in others it aims to challenge the status quo with new products like the Lenovo Moto phones. I have been very impressed by the very thin Lenevo Motos mobiles, which include a number of add-ons - such as the camera add-on with Hasselblad. The best news is that Lenevo is open to suggestions from Turkish designers for different add-on projects. It will reportedly award one million dollar to the winner of its design competition.
Another Asian company, Samsung, launched its new smart watch Gear S3 yesterday. The watch itself is really good, but the motto and social impact of its “#youcando” launch is even better. In order to tell the story of how Samsung products can help you do more, they have chosen five young people who have already outdone what was expected from them and launched a social media campaign. This actually helped the children more than it helped the brand, as everybody knew about Samsung before. Turkey is now talking about these five individuals who, against all odds, have accomplished their dreams.
One of the five youngsters is Yasemin Zengin, who is a Balkans Mountain Racing champion. She is 20 years old, and with only the mentorship of her PE teacher she worked hard every day and focused on one goal. In the end she became the Balkans Champion without even spending a day at a well-equipped gym. She just ran on the mountains and worked outdoors.
It gives me hope when I see these types of campaigns. Kudos to all.