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our company’s standards, from engineering

to procurement, through management and

finally construction itself. Sustainable mar-

ket conditions are also assumed and expect-

ed. Simply going into a country to complete

one single project and then departing may

not be the most logical thing to do. That is

why we monitor and periodically report the

country’s political and economic develop-

ments very carefully. We travel a lot and we

also read a lot.

Uluç Keskin:

It’s vital that we do not reject

any request for a visit, a project or a meeting

without serious evaluation first, and with-

out studying, listening and understanding.

We cannot have any prejudices or precon-

ceived notions. There have been times when

interesting suggestions have arisen of their

own accord. We have to take every offer seri-

ously and appraise all of them. We are in

touch with many people and more often

than not, making the right decision means

choosing the right person.

How many people are there in your


Uluç Keskin:

We are a team of 12 at our

headquarters. We have representation in

Casablanca, Azerbaijan, Qatar and Saudi

Arabia too and liaison offices in Moscow,

Ashkabat and Baghdad. We also work with

the Council for Foreign Economic Relations

(DEİK) and have membership of certain

business councils. The conversations and

contacts initiated at such gatherings can

lead to interesting places.

What differences do you see between

in the style and structure of the Turk-

ish contracting sector in the past and

now, and in terms of geography? And

where does Tekfen stand amidst these


Fatih Can:

Contracting as a sector is well

suited to the Turkish character and to our

culture. Throughout our history, Turks have

been getting on their horses, conquering

new lands and settling down, getting organ-

ised and adapt very easily. This has been our

story from Central Asia all the way to the

Balkans. The contracting sector has devel-

oped with these same urges and instincts.

“Do you need me?” “Yes!” “Where?” “In Lib-

ya.” “I’m flying in on the next plane. A

month later, I’ll bring a thousand workers

over…” No other culture or nation has this

same drive or impulse. It is deeply ingrained

in our culture. But this style of doing busi-

ness is now coming to an end. Countries and

companies with lower labour costs are en-

tering the playing field, which means the

previous way of doing business is no longer

an appropriate model. Simply moving to a

new place is not a long-term solution. We

need to improve our technology, which

means we have to have expertise in certain

fields. The essential question is, how can we

move up to a higher level of technology? If

we do that, we can continue to prosper in

the markets in which we have a presence

and experience. Moving into new markets

will also be easy if we manage to utilise more

sophisticated technology. We do a proper

job wherever we have a presence. Our work

is of a high quality and we stand by our com-

mitments. But there are also places we can-

not take our workers, due to visa problems

and other such obstacles. How can we oper-

ate in these places? That is when you need

to use your technological skills and your

management prowess. These are the things

we need to build on. With the new markets,

we need to concentrate on the technologies

in which Tekfen is expert.

How are you working on these issues?

Fatih Can:

Everything in the world is now

connected to technology. We need to be pru-

dent in this area. We cannot do everything.

We need to choose the areas in which we can

and will operate. In other words, expert con-

tractor work is what we should be doing. We

have certain specified priority areas. When

identifying these areas, we don’t just think

of today but of needs that may emerge in

the future, whilst also taking sustainability

into consideration. Water purification, for

instance…. Water purification technology is

at the forefront of the technologies in which

we are aiming for high profiency. It is not a

new area, and we are trying to enter this

field in such a way as to be able to satisfy all

the demands from A to Z, from technology

through to turnkey projects. We do not

want just the contracting part. Contractors

build and hand over the facility to its inves-

tor. In other words, they work to a specified

contract, within a specified framework,

whereas taking charge of project and its op-

eration requires a much more long-term ap-

proach. We are trying to have Tekfen Hold-

ing “on board” as an investor.

İlda Değirmentaş (Business Develop-

ment Coordinator, Water and Waste

Water Treatment Projects):

The issue of

water is a serious one all over the world.

There is talk afoot of “water wars” in the fu-

ture. That alone tells us how important wa-

ter is. Because clean water supplies are lim-

ited, reclaiming water and making it

available for reuse is an increasingly impor-

tant topic. Within the framework of the

“zero discharge” concept, it doesn’t matter

where you go, the reclaiming and reuse of

polluted and waste water is in increasingly

high demand. This is where technology en-

ters the frame. We as Tekfen do not possess

the technology at the moment, and are

therefore currently looking for technology

suppliers or business partners with whom

we can join forces. The main disadvantage in

this area is the fact that the water treatment

business remains small in scale next to Tek-

fen’s current projects. As such, the business

is profitable only if one is able to provide

technology as well. Since we don’t have this

technology, we wish to move ahead with a

partner. We have already initiated discus-

sions with candidate firms in Europe and

America. This venture may move ahead with

small steps, as there are already large and

experienced firms in the market. Neverthe-

less, regardless of the size of the projects we

undertake, we need to show that we set out

to be long-term players by using our own

methods and strategies and by committing

to Tekfen’s quality and using it as a bedrock.

Our greatest advantage in this respect is

that Tekfen has already proven itself wher-

ever it has conducted business, and we wish

to capitalise on this aspect to develop and

expand rapidly.

Fatih Can:

In its current guise, Tekfen

İnşaat is a construction firm. Although in-

vestments and operations may not fully cor-

respond to our current business model, we

have a holding company backing us. This is

the advantage of being a holding company.

One can move ahead rapidly under its con-

trol and coordination in partnership with

other companies. Water and renewable en-

ergy are our priority areas. As the global

economy stutters, so competition has in-

creased, and we have no choice but to be a

part of this competition. Because otherwise,

the moment you stop, you stumble and fall.

Which areas do our work and our pri-

orities in the field of renewable energy


Fatih Can:

The field of renewable energy

corresponds completely with the Tekfen

Group’s principles and vision. Opening a

space for ourselves in certain areas in the

field of clean and renewable energy is a stra-

tegic goal. The Business Development De-

partment is Tekfen’s representative in this

area. The work is closely monitored and co-

ordinated by Tekfen Holding. We are trying

to give birth to a new baby.

Sinan Seyhun (Business Development

Coordinator, Renewable Energy):


energy sector has its own dynamics. In wind

and solar power in particular, the actual con-

struction makes up only a fraction of the

business. 85% of the investment goes on