In Tarsus, history, culture, tourism, gastronomy, agriculture, trade and industry shape the social and economic life of the city. The city is one of the oldest settlements in the world with a history of 10 thousand years. At the point reached today, we can see that Tarsus preserves its important values in belief and culture tourism and tries to increase its recognition in the field of gastronomy.
As the Tarsus Chamber of Commerce and Industry, we take an active role in various projects from the Tarsus Earth Market to the Tarsus Hinterland Archaeological Researches in order to protect our historical and cultural values, unearth the unknown and promote the city. We are trying to create gastronomic tourism. We take care to protect our values and branding by taking geographical indications. As Tarsus CCI, we received the geographical indication of Tarsus Hazelnut Lahmacun and Tarsus Kebab after Tarsus Humus. We are in an effort to increase the number of registered products. We want to increase the awareness of Tarsus by attracting local and foreign guests. In this context, we are actively involved in various projects.
Historical and cultural value as well as in agriculture in Turkey even we are among the important centers of the world. We are one of the rare places that harvest vegetables and fruits out of season. Our geopolitical position and logistics facilities are very good. We can easily say that we have a rich product pattern from field crops to the cultivation of greenhouse garden products. Our aim is to bring added value to the agricultural sector. For this, we attach great importance to the agriculture-based industry. We established Mersin Agropark, of which Tarsus CCI is also a founding partner. Turkey’s first agricultural and food technopark as Alifakı of Tarsus district and the Reşadiye neighborhood built on approximately 800 acres of Mersin Agropark agriculture and technology, bringing high value-added, highly efficient and healthy products, educating, Turkey is to increase agricultural exports. Currently, our infrastructure works for Mersin Agropark are continuing at full speed. Apart from this, we are working with the Directorate of Alata Horticultural Research Institute on the “Development of Tarsus White Grape Variety Through Mutation Breeding Project”.
On the other hand, we are restarting the industrialization move in Tarsus. We integrate all our advantages with the Organized Industrial Zone we established in Tarsus. Established in partnership with Mersin Governorship, Mersin Metropolitan Municipality, Tarsus Municipality, Tarsus Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Tarsus Commodity Exchange and Tarsus Investors Association, the OIZ gained legal personality in 2017. We moved very fast. It was not really easy to set up OIZ in such a short time. Now we have entered the final bend for OIZ. The project is very correct and the point we have already reached showed once again the accuracy of this. Despite the pandemic, we made serious progress and attracted all the attention. Our land sales, which were 10 percent when the pandemic started, increased to 70 percent with the pandemic. We attribute this to the correctness of the project, both with its location and price policy. Most importantly, the union of forces. The reason for success is cooperation. Tarsus OIZ, where we will directly employ 15 thousand people, will be the lifeblood of us. It will contribute to the re-industrialization of our region. Currently, our infrastructure works are continuing rapidly. In the near future, the chimneys of the factories will be hot.
Our work continues in the field of education as well. We also took part in TOBB’s “81 Vocational High Schools in 81 Cities” project. Our request to bring one of the vocational schools to Tarsus with the joint ventures of our Chamber and Tarsus Commodity Exchange was evaluated positively by TOBB. We would like to thank TOBB and our President Mr. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu for this matter. This project, which integrates vocational education and the real sector, is really a very important project. I believe that a new and dynamic vocational education model prepared according to the qualifications demanded in the market will contribute positively. In this way, the business world will find a solution to the problem of qualified intermediate staff.
When we evaluate it completely, we want to meet in common synergy for the Eastern Mediterranean in unity and solidarity, and to activate our values and all our dynamics.
H. Ruhi KOÇAK
Tarsus Chamber of Commerce and Industry
President of the Board