Mersin Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Ayhan Kızıltan told the short story of 135 years of Mersin passion; “Mersin Chamber of Commerce and Industry was established in 1886 with the initiative of merchants from Mersin. In other words, Mersin had a vision that understood the necessity of institutionalization in the economic sense 135 years ago. The greatest achievement of Mersin business world is this 135-year culture. Mersin Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which was one of the first ten Chambers established during the Empire period, maintained its feature of being this leading chamber in the Republic period as well. Our chamber, which served 135 members 243 years ago, is now serving 26.500 members. It dates back to before the establishment of our Event Room.
The economic activity that started around the Peasant Market, which we know today as the Yogurt Bazaar, in 1832, opened to the sea with a pier built close to this region. This simple pier turned into a Customs Pier when economic activity intensified and trade opened abroad.
An investment that changed the fortunes of the city emerged in 1886; Mersin-Adana Railway. Mersin has now become a place with both sea and rail connections. Mersin Chamber of Commerce and Industry was established in the same year, because Mersin was starting to become an international point and Mersin business world saw this very quickly.
Due to the increasing commercial traffic of the city, a decoil line (light rail system) was established between the Station and Customs Square. This was a sign of being a modern city and walking on this road. The architectural face of the city began to change with the gradually coming wealth and the rising middle class. By 1900, there were factories in the center of Mersin that processed tons of cotton and made fabrics. This production was transported domestically by rail and abroad by sea.
The Republic, which was declared in 1923, became the driving force of Mersin's rise even faster. The morale, vision and goals that Great Atatürk gave to the people of Mersin during his Mersin visits are the basis of the development of modern Mersin and even today, Mersin business world is walking towards its goals with these values. With the Republic, Mersin became a province (province) in 1924. It had many new public institutions.
In 1926, the first "Vegetable-Fruit Market" was opened in the place where the butchers' market is today. In the same year, the Ottoman Bank and Mersin Commerce and Grain Exchange were opened. The Merchant Club was opened in 1927. This is not a simple club, it has become a place where bureaucrats and business members of every period meet and discuss economic problems. In 1931, the Central Bank was opened.
"Development does not only happen with the economy"
In 1936, Mersin Public House was opened. Because the Republic did not link development only to the economy, but wanted it to be supported by culture, art and education. In this sense, the Public House has become the biggest pillar of Mersin in terms of culture, arts, education and even sports. Mersin could not have an Opera today if it had not been for those foundations laid at that time, without that culture.
Mersin has been the city of firsts throughout its history. In 1950, a woman in Turkey - Müfide İlhan- was the first time a provincial mayor. Behind this was, of course, the cultural accumulation of the city of Mersin and its commitment to the values of the Republic. In 1954, the foundations of a world-class port where ships can dock directly were laid instead of the primitive-looking pier. Mersin ports even entered service in 1960 and today Turkey's largest, it is among the few Mediterranean ports.
"The port has also triggered big investments"
The construction of the port triggered large investments and Ataş Refinery was established in 1962. In 1968, TRT Çukurova Regional Radio was opened in Mersin. In 1976, it was decided to establish the Mersin-Tarsus Organized Industrial Zone. Unfortunately, MTOSB was established and put into service in 1993. Mersin and its region would be a Marmara in industrial production if this investment had not been kept in the wheel of bureaucracy. It is the best example of what the slow functioning bureaucracy and the delay of large investments caused our cities and our country to lose. We hope that the same mistakes are not made then, the winner is Turkey.
In 1987 again it was a first and Turkey's first free zone was established in Mersin. Mersin Free Zone, which is the only free zone with its own pier, is today the most active and employment-creating point of our country.
"Mersin University was founded"
And the year is 1992… With the long-lasting demand and support of Mersin business world, Mersin has perhaps one of its biggest shortcomings and Mersin University was founded. Today, we have 2 state and 2 foundation universities together with our Tarsus, Toros and Çağ Universities. We consider these institutions, which raise the quality and qualified human resources of Mersin and support studies on the basis of R&D, as the most important value of our city and we work in cooperation.
In short, this 135-year history of the Chamber, during the 200-year-known Mersin economic history, Mersin has carried it to these days by enlarging, glorifying and increasing it. Mersin did not waste anything given to him, did not destroy, multiplied by contrast, he brought the value of those investments and not just Mersin, Turkey's richness into. Behind all these, the biggest driving force and the biggest support we have seen for at least 150-200 years has been the Mersin business world. Mersin history is the history of Mersin entrepreneur. In this sense, we are proud to be a part of this great institution, this great community. Our aim is to add bigger works to this chronology and transfer our duties and this culture to our young brothers. In this sense, we offer our gratitude to everyone who has brought Mersin to these days in social and economic terms and contributed. 2020 has been a difficult year, but each new year holds new hopes. Hoping that this new year will bring health, peace and happiness to our nation and all Mersin residents who have taken it as a guide to rise above the level of contemporary civilization demonstrated by the great leader Atatürk, we wish 2021 to set the ground for new hopes and successes, we celebrate the new year of Mersin business world and all Mersin citizens. . ” he spoke.