Foreseen to become a critical centre in the global financial markets upon the beginning of its operation in the first half of 2023, the IFC will bring together the world’s leading financial institutions and companies in a specially built area

We talked to Ahmet İhsan Erdem, CEO of Istanbul Financial Centre, for Business Diplomacy readers about the vision, goals, technological infrastructure and contributions of the Istanbul Financial Centre, which keeps excelling in Istanbul, the historical meeting point of continents and civilizations.


Its geographical location naturally renders Istanbul a regional and global centre. From Istanbul, It is possible to reach a region with a market volume of trillions of dollars in just a few hours of flight. Under the leadership of our President of the Republic of Türkiye, the great change and transformation that our country has undergone in the last 20 years in every field such as transportation, infrastructure, energy, finance, tourism, health, education, technology, industry, trade and many others has reinforced Istanbul’s position as a natural centre. Today, Istanbul is an international production, trade and management centre where the heart of the global economy beats.

The journey of transformation of this city, which has a significant impact on world history with a history of over 8,000 years, into a global financial centre began in 2009. The Istanbul Financial Centre project, the construction of which began in 2014, gained momentum following its transfer to the Türkiye Wealth Fund in 2019.

Istanbul Financial Center, which will become an substantial home base in global financial markets with all its phases, will bring together the world’s prominent financial foundations and companies in a specially built zone and will be a qualified financial centre offering access to appealing investment and profitable trade opportunities.

Istanbul Financial Centre rises at the intersection of continents and civilizations. The historic city of Istanbul offers new opportunities for international finance professionals. Located at the heart of one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing economies, the Istanbul Finance Centre will create a complete and multidimensional financial services ecosystem, thereby offering growth opportunities for the Turkish economy and international investors by encouraging regional and global capital flows.

Istanbul Financial Centre also aims to render Istanbul a leading actor in global trade, as well as becoming a leading financial centre in the next ten years. Innovative reforms designed to facilitate international trade will be pioneered and sustainable, participatory, and collaborative approaches to financial services will be adopted and promoted with the purpose of achieving these goals. Istanbul Financial Centre will unite Türkiye’s central bank, stock market, public banks, and financial regulators in one location, thus creating a centre of attraction for national and international financial institutions and investors. Investors will also have access to the growing economy of Türkiye and international markets through the unique geographical location of Istanbul at the centre of the continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa. On top of focusing on strong sub-sectors of Türkiye such as banking, insurance, green finance, financial technologies, and participation finance, the entire international financial services sector will be supported in line with best practices around the world and various incentive and regulatory mechanisms will be offered at the Istanbul Financial Centre.


In order for a region to become a financial center, various components must come together. One of these components is the creation of modern physical conditions to meet today’s needs. Istanbul Financial Center has been designed to meet all these needs with 1.3 million square meters of office space, 100 thousand square meters of commercial and social space, a congress center for 2,100 people, an academy and research center and a 5-star hotel.

Besides this physical facility structure equipped with the world’s most advanced technologies and prioritizing energy efficiency and sustainability, IFC has been intended to serve a purpose far beyond being a real estate project since the first day it was designed.

In this direction, upon the acknowledgement of our Grand Assembly and the approval of our President of the Republic of Türkiye, the IFC Law entered into force in June 2022. Aiming to increase the international financial competitiveness of our country, the IFC law offers various incentives and operational conveniences to the participants who will be at our center. Expected to offer various business and investment opportunities to domestic and international companies and investors, Istanbul Financial Center will thus make significant contributions to the sustainable development goals of the Turkish economy and the development of financial markets.

Under the umbrella of the IFC, all public and private sector stakeholders operating in the field of finance, as well as a wide range of institutions and organisations such as consultancy and financial technology companies that will support the sector, will come together under a single roof, thus creating a multi-dimensional financial services ecosystem.

In today’s economic ecosystem, international financial centres function as service infrastructures that efficiently provide investors and institutions with the opportunity to manage their savings and access financing for sustainable economic growth and the development of financial markets. Global financial centres offer technical facilities such as physical and technological infrastructure and superstructure, as well as elements that provide ease of doing business such as legislation that responds to current needs, competitive tax rates, trained human resources, and enterprise and research components such as incubation centres, laboratories, and academia. Bringing together various financial products, instruments, structures, institutions and organisations with these elements, international financial centres aim to serve all market stakeholders by creating an ecosystem. Intending to make Istanbul competitive with the world’s major financial centres, the Istanbul Financial Centre aims to create a qualified and multi-dimensional financial services ecosystem.

The activities to be carried out at the IFC are expected to contribute significantly to financial services exports and the national economy of Türkiye

Foreseen to become an important center in global financial markets, the Istanbul Financial Center will contribute to the sustainable development of the Turkish economy and the development of financial markets, as well as offering various business and investment opportunities to domestic and international companies and investors. In this direction, efforts will be made to contribute to the product diversity and depth in financial markets and increase their integration with international markets, adapt to innovations emerging in financial markets in line with technological developments, develop participation finance sector and increase its integration with international markets, and allow international credit institutions or financial institutions and organizations, other real and legal persons and ordinary partnerships in the countries of the region to maintain their activities within the country. Within the IFC, a wide range of financial institutions and organisations such as banks, capital markets institutions, participation finance companies, financial investment and portfolio management companies and insurance companies will be united in a single location.

In this framework, a multidimensional ecosystem will emerge in the IFC, with companies operating in the international financial services sector, as well as strategic sub-sectors such as banking, insurance, green finance, financial technologies and participation finance, and consultancy, IT, telecommunication and financial technology companies to support these companies. With the purpose of rendering this ecosystem stronger, it is planned to adopt and promote sustainable and participatory approaches in the IFC for all financial services, particularly in the field of international trade. Moreover, collaborations with international institu and countries, especially other financial centers, in strategic sectors will bring the Istanbul Financial Center to the forefront in the global arena in the upcoming period.

CEO of Istanbul Financial Center, Ahmet İhsan Erdem.