Views: 6400


A Entrepreneur and Nonprofit Volunteer
Interviewer: Yeliz GÜL EGE
Place: Akra Hotel
Date: 18.01.2017



First of all, I would like to start with the girl, Işık. In which year, where was the right Light Judge and how was the view of the woman in the years she was born? How was the view of women in the family of the daughter Işık?
Although my father was waiting for his third child with the dream of having a son, I was always told that he was very happy when he learned that a daughter was born, and I was raised as one of the women who were valued in my family.
What would you say about your mother?
My mother is a high school graduate, she always made an effort to read books and improve herself. She was a woman of letters, she wrote very beautiful poems, and she became our role model as a very idealistic woman.
Do you think your parents had an influence on you?
As time passes, I understand better that I have sides that are influenced by both of them. My father's entrepreneurial spirit, his relentless search for solutions when he stumbles, and his cheerfulness are the traits I inherited. My parents' motto that life is beautiful and difficulties can be overcome have always been effective in my personality. Lastly, of course my mother's writing ability definitely helped me develop a passion for writing.
Işık Yargın received her university education in Ankara. We would appreciate it if you could inform us about what you did after University, starting from there.
I completed my university education in Ankara. The university coincided with a chaotic period in the country. I was a university student between 1974-1978 and since it coincided with a period when the obligation to attend universities was abolished, I carried out my business life and my school life together.
In which field did your business life begin, Mrs. Yargın?
I started working in the banking-finance sector. Since I passed the English exam, I started working in the Foreign Exchange department.
How many years did you work in the bank?
I became a bank clerk and worked 10 years between 1975-1985. However, during these 10 years, I searched for ways to study abroad on foreign trade. Ultimately, I applied for a state exam. I won a scholarship and went to England. In 1985, I attended a training with international participants and headquartered at Midland Bank. While working in the bank, I also completed my master's degree.
Were there any other Turks?
No. There were participants from the banking and financial sector from different countries such as Germany, Denmark, Finland, Kenya and Saudi Arabia. We were a very large team. We are equipped with an extraordinary experience, knowledge and skills. After giving a general education, they divide you into branches. Some work in the stock market, while others work in international banking. My training was on tourism investments and project loans of the European Investment Bank in Turkey.
Can we say that a new era has started in your career? How do you evaluate?
Training programme opened the door to become a Tourism Investment Loans Specialist of the European Investment Bank. It really was a huge turning point for me. After returning to Turkey, I revised the reporting principles by determining the evaluation criteria covering evaluations that are appropriate to the conditions of the country. How an investment is evaluated, what rates are taken into account, what resources should be use, which bureaucracy conditions appropriate etc. The European Investment Bank named this model the "Yargın Concept". This made me very proud.
How did you build confidence as a young woman and a woman?
Working hard, conveying the right information, the power of the international institution you cooperate with, the necessity of cooperation with the public, international agreements and their implementation make you a part of the system as a technocrat regardless of your gender. In addition to office work, I had to be in the field and the field was hotel construction sites. Considering the period in the late 1980s, conditions were extremely difficult.
In what year does the Işık Yargın come to Antalya and how does she come, why does she come?
With the Gulf Crisis, which also affected our country in 1991, Turkey was given the status of a risky country. As a result of these conditions, I was unemployed and came to Antalya, the locomotive of tourism. There was a period when I also experienced the power of the network and I established the incoming company of a foreign tour operator in Antalya as a partner.
I understand that you started to take part in the tourism sector in 1991. What was the female profile of Antalya in those years? Were they involved in working life? As I know and remember, the economy was mainly based on agriculture, as a native of Antalya, I remember that women did not take part in business life and did not work. I'm curious about your observations.
As someone who has witnessed and involved in the processes both the economic and social development of Antalya since 1992, I can make comparisons and make evaluations. Tourism was finding new life as a sector. The private sector was being brought into the tourism sector with government incentives. The male-dominated business world was taking action. Therefore, in working life, there was no business and white-collar woman.
Employment of blue-collar women was very difficult. To give an example; To give an example, the husbands of the housekeepers of the hotels that were operating from the construction sites did not consent to the women getting on the same bus as the men. The women were not sent to work. Even in the back offices, there were few female employees. There were no women as kitchen workers. Of course, there were professional women working in the public sector. Also undoubtedly, there were women working in the family business in the agricultural sector. In brief, non-family employment of women was not registered.
Over time, the perception that tourism is a human-based business developed very quickly, and gender discrimination was rapidly moved away. Therefore, it was quickly reflected in the society. Because the dynamics of tourism have the power to transform society.
I evaluate the cultural interaction taking into account my own family, and I have experienced the transformative power of tourism. Our family could have stayed with village facilities and mentality. This would be conditional and natural. However, with the beginning of the interaction of Kemer district with the tourism sector, what we learned from our guests coming to our hostel from Istanbul, from our guests from Germany and other countries became the key to the transformation. My mom and dad are primary school graduates. I remember so clearly that the friendships they observed and established, from their clothing to their self-care, have not degenerated into my family and the children they raised, me and my brother, our present life gusto has been decisive. As a member of a family that lives and transforms themselves and their environment, I understand what you are saying so well that I wanted it to be recorded here.
You are actively involved in NGOs, how did you start?
In the 1990s, I started a new era of settled life and business life in Antalya. The economic life was changing direction in Antalya, the effect of mass tourism was making the economy, the way of doing business and the sub-sectors that feed the tourism come to life.
Rapid developments also caused adaptation problems, the dynamics of change and the reactions of traditional business structures. I believed that I could eliminate the emerging problems by acting with a non-governmental organization representing the business world. The NGO representing business people in the city was a “business men” association. I did not accept the name on the door as an obstacle and applied to become a member.
Isn't she about to be among the "Business Men" with the request to become the first female member?
They were surprised when I applied there as the first female member.
Did the business men ask, "What are you doing?"
 “Business men” write on the sign. They respectfully accepted me to meet but had no hesitation to refuse.
Who was the president?
Sadık Badak agreed, we chatted, I explained myself, I talked about why I wanted to be there. However, they told me that they did not accept female members and that I should not insist. When I persisted, they said that I could attend their monthly meeting, not as a member. A year later, in 1994, I was accepted as a member. I am proud to be the first female member of an Anadolu SIAD.
When did it happen to join the board of directors and take part in the decision mechanism?
In the General Assembly held in 1999, I entered the list of the late Güngör Pekşen.
However, the story is interesting. Although governors were invited and attended NGO General Assemblies in the past, I am in Germany at that time and I couldn't attend. There was no information about being taken to the Board of Directors, and I was not asked whether I had such a request, so my name was not on the list. Hüsnü Tuğlu, the governor of Antalya, who attended the meeting. Mr. Tuğlu looks at the member list and when he sees my name and gender there, he reproaches me by saying "You have only one female member and her name is not on the Board of Directors List". By evaluating this warning, my name was written on the board of directors list. I received a phone call and they said that you have become our ANSIAD board member, I was both surprised and happy, but I was also curious. Güngör Pekşen was a fair and sincere personality, he told the story with an open heart.
I would like to add one more point. I have experienced the glass ceiling syndrome a lot, both in the NGO and in the companies that I am a partner in. However, I did not give up and overcame obstacles by working hard. When I write my memoirs, I will share all the details.
Your first experience in non-governmental organizations is ANSIAD's Board Membership and it is a process I am familiar with. As a member of the board of directors, I know that you are a decision maker as an active member, not passive, and you have become a model of women who take and use initiative in the society. Were there any women who took you as an example?
It was the early 1990's when I became a member, women were not involved in decision-making mechanisms in companies. Women's interest in NGOs representing business life was low. However, my active involvement in ANSIAD created awareness and was appreciated and modeled by my fellow citizens. Both the establishment of business women's associations, the increase in the number of business associations between men and women, and the frankness of young activists saying "you were my idol" make me think that I have been modeled by many young women. I am grateful to all of them.
I want to leave the business life a little bit and talk about your personal life. What kind of mother is Işık Yargın?
Someone who is both authoritarian and affectionate and trying to be a model. To overcome difficult living conditions without harming my children. My priorities were to spend time with them in the evenings, to feed their souls, to prepare an environment that helps them to unleash their creativity, to openly admit to myself the areas where I was inadequate and to get them to love life by getting professional support. Today, being satisfied with their lives, realizing their dreams as happy individuals, being sensitive to gender equality, respecting people and women, being loved individuals in society and social circles make me proud of myself and my mother identity. Most importantly, my children thank me often. This must be the reward for my motherhood.
I find it very valuable that you enter the election and fight. In summary, can you tell us about your work that also meets the purpose of its establishment?
To develop the female entrepreneurship potential in our country in terms of quantity and quality. To provide career development opportunities by teaching women personal development ways. To bring entrepreneurial spirit to women who can create economic value through national and local collaborations. To organize seminars, panels etc. in order to use these features more effectively and efficiently. To provide basic information and guidance they will need in business life. To contribute to the establishment and subsequent business processes of those who are considering starting a business. Studies that support the importance of women's cooperatives. Funding by BAKA to bring Kovanlık Carpets to life as an economic value and promotional instrument, Contributing to their becoming a Geographical Indicated value. To open a competition category in which we draw attention to the potential of women entrepreneurs and to bring home-based productions to the economy. From Total Quality, I would like to count the trainings that pave the way for the use of technology in business life, the Business Administration program of Boğaziçi University, and of course the intensive work of the Antalya Women's Museum that started the journey from idea to action.
What are the things that we do not know or that you would like to add?
In the process, I have also received awards crowning such efforts that color our business and private lives.
I felt very good on the stage of Istanbul Lütfi Kırdar Congress Center, where I received the Successful Business Women 2002 Award organized by Dünya Newspaper.
In 2009, I was honored with a Certificate of Achievement in the GB Kagider Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Competition.
In 2011, I was honored as ANTIKAD Business Woman of the Year on International Women's Day.
In 2014, I was honored with the ANSIAD Güngör Pekşen Entrepreneurship Special Award.
2001-20015 I wrote weekly columns on economy, women and youth entrepreneurship in SABAH Akdeniz Newspaper for about 15 years. Name of newspaper columns “Sabah Işığı” a total of 750 articles.
Within the scope of our Company's Corporate Social Responsibility Project in 2006-2013, I passed the UN reports as the Best Practice with the Vocational Schools where I did the Vocational Training of the disadvantaged youth. I created added value for the sector by training intermediate staff for the Tourism Sector in Antalya Center, Manavgat, Alanya, Fethiye and Marmaris. Authorization and cooperation was carried out within the framework of our Company and MEB cooperation protocol.
As the head of ANSIAD ENTREPRENEURSHIP Desk since 2001, I am excitedly involved in the development of projects for Women's Entrepreneurship and Young Entrepreneurship.
I have existed in the journey of transformation from idea to action, in the life adventure of Antalya Women's Museum.
If there is no rule of law and no importance is given to the separation of powers, we can neither talk about democracy in the country nor talk about the founding values ​​of the Republic. Members of the Board of Directors and the Supreme Advisory Board unanimously accepted my proposal. The National ANSIAD Judicial Reform Study and its summit were held.
I chaired the Antalya Quality Association.
As a final question, I would like to ask you a question that I ask in almost every interview. If you were born again, would you still be a woman or would you like to be a woman?
Oh my goodness, this is a very difficult question. I think I am very successful with my female gender. But until this age, I have encountered so many "glass ceilings" even though we have to spend more effort than men while we are living, I still want to come as a woman.
I believe in the power of struggle and creativity of women. If a woman sets goals, she can go beyond her dreams. My area of ​​interest is now teenagers and children. I write children's fairy tales in the field of Philosophy for Children. The hobby I started by writing to my grandson has now become a published work. My children's book is called “Tales to Maya: The Secret of the Universe Water”. Consequently, yes, I am very happy to have been born as a woman.
What does the Antalya Women's Museum, its formation, mean to you? What is the significance of this for Antalya and Turkish women? Also, what message do you send to women?
Antalya Women's Museum is really a wonderful idea, presented by you, dear Yeliz, while determining the annual targets of the Antalya Women's Entrepreneurs Board. It was a work that we attach great importance to making women aware of their existence.
As in the establishment purposes of women's museums in the world; We worked enthusiastically with the principle of making visible the contributions of women to the economy, culture, science and society. Of course, we also knew that realizing the idea required a lot of effort. This was a promotional item for our country and for Antalya, which we talk about as the locomotive of tourism. Therefore, we knew that Antalya Promotion Foundation was the best place. With a common mind on this subject, the subject was transferred to the Antalya Promotion Foundation, with the help of dear Yeliz, and a very important investment was made in the future. It was an investment for women. For the future, it was an investment in the establishment of infrastructures that would support the social standing of women raising children, and an organizational investment that would ensure the establishment of sustainable structures for women. In that respect, a light that will come out of Antalya will be a model for Turkey and carry women to the future. I am both very excited and always proud to have salt in this soup. I proudly remember this always.
Let women lead the way and walk on their path to take part in decision mechanisms in all areas of life, by being aware of themselves and their strength, without giving up on education to realize themselves.