World Turkish Business Council, we voluntarily give our all without knowing any distance with the aim of further strengthening the network between our diaspora

There is a plant we sometimes bump into on the roadsides, among the bushes, and we take it in our hands and blow it and scatter its white feathers around, making us happy: Taraxacum. This unique plant has been a panacea for healers since ancient times, a symbol of the sun and “enlightenment”. From the leaves to the roots, from the flower to the stem, this plant, almost created to heal with each particle, is spread all over the world, they are bountiful and strong enough to adapt to any condition…

Beyond the meanings of “sight, good vision and insight” of Taraxacum in the Turkish language (“karahindiba”), prophecies and “seeing the future” were also associated with this plant in Ancient Greece and Rome. It is also believed to be a symbol of fertility, renewal, abundance, and prophecy.

I liken the World Turkish Business Council (DTİK), one of our 152 Business Councils spread all over the world established by us in 2007, to this unique plant. Blown all over the world by DEİK like Taraxacum, DTİK and our diaspora bring meaning to the places where are found by working with their vision and structures open to renewal, in synchronization with the places and conditions where they are. I always say that we see our diaspora not as brain drain but as brain power. We characterise the Turkish community living abroad as “Turkish Diaspora: Turning Migration to Might”. We are all proud of the world-class achievements of Turkish people as they live in another land outside their own country.

Today, we witness successful members of the Turkish diaspora in many fields such as education, trade, art, politics, and so on. This strength allows our diaspora representatives to build bridges between their homeland Türkiye and other countries. As DEİK, we keep building bridges of friendship through our business diplomacy activities in our foreign economic relations over our 152 Business Councils, and by means of our World Turkish Business Council, we voluntarily give our all without knowing any distance with the aim of further strengthening the network between our diaspora. We are very glad that the Turkish diaspora has gone beyond merely being an immigrant community and become economically, socially, and culturally strong.

Diaspora has a pretty wide scope. In order not to cause confusion of fields and authorities among the numberless different and valuable institutions working on this issue, and with the aim of achieving more effective results by having a focal point, we endeavour to move forward over the business world axis and the stakeholders converging to this axis.

We are holding our World Turkish Business Council 10th Kurultai, which we last held in 2016 and then could not hold due to major reasons such as pandemic and earthquakes, at Haliç Congress Centre on September 15-16, 2023, with the presence of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, our President of the Republic of Türkiye, and our Ministers. Planned to host 52 country representatives, 60 city representatives in 13 countries, 400 members from 6 regions, as well as over 2000 Turkish business people, scholars, artists, athletes, and entrepreneurs from 6 continents, the Kurultai will play a vital role in our diaspora, which develops business relations all over the world and deepens economic ties, in terms of establishing bilateral meetings with our exporters whose production centre is Türkiye and adding strength to our economic power on a global level.

This year, unlike other DTİK Kurultai, we will hold our “Organisation of Turkic States: 5 States, One Diaspora” Panel. “Turks Shaping the Global Economy”, “Our Soft Power: Turkish Diaspora”, and Together We Are Stronger: Cooperation Between Institutions panels, we will host valuable people and share experiences.

Apart from the DTİK 10. Kurultai, DEİK has a busy programme in the upcoming period. We will hold the 13th Türkiye Investment Conference in New York on September 20-21, 2023, Izmir Türkiye-Japan Business Council Joint Meeting on October 10-11, 2023, the 4th Türkiye-Africa Business and Economic Forum in Istanbul on October 12- 13, 2023, DEİK Business Councils’ General Assembly on January 20, 2024, and our 37th Elective General Assembly on February 3, 2024.

In the new issue of our journal, we discuss all aspects of the concept of “Diaspora” and also touch upon the activities of our DEİK/World Turkish Business Council (DTİK). In the cover interview, I broadly presented my views on DTİK and our diaspora. Also, Birol Akgün, President of the Turkish Maarif Foundation, Şeref Ateş, President of Yunus Emre Institute, and Abdullah Eren, President of the Turks Abroad and Related Community, shared their valuable views with us. Our file subject in this issue includes our examination of the bilateral trade relations between Türkiye and Japan in detail.

Enjoy your reading.

President of DEİK, Nail Olpak