The Turkish Clothing Manufacturers’ Association (TGSD) was founded by seven businessmen, Vitali Hakko, Nuri Güven, Galip Önöz, Necati İhsan Çakuş, Arslan Araf, Mehmet Atakan and Selahattin Akdoğan, on May 6, 1976, at 2. Vakıfhan No: 23 in Eminönü, Istanbul in accordance with the Law No. 1630 On Associations.
NURİ GÜVEN • 1976-1979
The late Nuri Güven was a founding member and the first president of the Association, which was incorporated under the title, the “Association of Clothing Manufacturers.” During Güven’s presidency, the board of directors resolves to introduce the Turkish clothing industry to the foreign markets and the Association participates in an international fair for the first time representing the industry. In the following years, the Association also participates in fairs in Cologne and Munich, Germany. The Association also organizes Turkey’s first-ever fashion show during Güven’s presidency.
GALİP ÖNÖZ • 1979-1981
Under Önöz’s helm, the Association is renamed to the “Clothing Manufacturers’ Association,” which is closer to its current name. In the same year, the Association prepares a report, drawing attention to the problems of the industry; and for the first time, it initiates efforts to establish ready-made vocational high schools to train a skilled workforce for the industry.
TURGUT ÖZDEŞ • 1981-1984
The members who have begun to participate more actively in international fairs now has a defined objective: to set the fashion trends and to manufacture ready made garments. During Özdeş’s presidency, efforts bear fruit and the Association organizes the first edition of the Istanbul Fashion Week. President Özdeş invites the unions and chambers to join their forces in order to boost the competitiveness of the industry in the international markets and to ensure that the incentives needed by the industry are given in a proper and prompt manner. The industry speaks with one voice and successfully pleads with the government to grant the necessary incentives.
SELAHATTİN AKDOĞAN • 1984-1985
By this time, the association members have developed strong know-how. The Association’s need to deploy this know-how in new markets becomes apparent during Selahattin Akdoğan’s presidency. Accordingly, the Association organizes Turkey’s first exhibition for international brands, particularly for U.S.-based firms, at the Golden Dome Hall of Hilton Istanbul in Harbiye. Following the exhibition, the Association attends a trade fair in New York City, taking the initiative to penetrate into the U.S. market.
TURGUT YILMAZ • 1985-1987
During Turgut Yılmaz’s presidency, the Association is renamed to the “Turkish Clothing Manufacturers’ Association” with the addition of “Turkish” in accordance with the Council of Ministers Decree No. 85/9310, dated March 26, 1985. This invests the Association with the authority to represent the Turkish clothing industry on a national level on a voluntary basis. In this period, the Association gives a stylish banquet to celebrate its 10th anniversary.
VEDAT OLCAY • 1987-1988
During the late Vedat Olcay’s presidency, the TGSD becomes a member of the International Apparel Federation (IAF) on November 19, 1987, to represent the Turkish Clothing industry abroad for the first time. This membership is a major step for the TGSD and its members in terms of engaging in quality production at global standards, establishing international partnerships and expanding their market presence.
OSMAN BENZEŞ • 1988-1990
Osman Benzeş, who believes in the added value of design and makes great efforts to train designers, initiates textile design workshops in cooperation with the Textile Department of Mimar Sinan University. Also during his presidency, Turkish participation in international fairs gains momentum. The Association cultivates relations with representatives from many global brands.
HASAN ARAT • 1990-1992
As Turkey’s ready-made clothing production picks up pace, the Istanbul Atatürk Airport Textile and Ready-Made Clothing Free Trade Zone is opened. During the same period, the United States doubles its textile and apparel quotas. A member of the IAF, the TGSD hosts an IAF Board of Directors meeting in Istanbul. Arat would be elected president of the IAF in 1996, and Istanbul would host the annual convention of the IAF for the first time. When asked about an unforgettable memory about the Association, President Arat reminds his listeners that the day he took up the presidency of the IAF coincided with November 10, the Atatürk Memorial Day, and he called on the audience in the hall to observe a moment of silence to commemorate Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the Great Leader of the Republic of Turkey.
ALİ MAHMUT ABRA • 1992-1994
The General Assembly of the TGSD, resolves to join the European Clothing Association (ECLA) to reinforce its international representation. In 1992, Dünya, a daily newspaper, recognizes the TGSD as Turkey’s most successful industry association.
NUR GER • 1994-1996
The first woman president of the Association, Ger makes a historic call to Turkish lawmakers to empower Turkish manufacturers through a project titled, “We Work for Turkey.” It should also be noted that the anthem titled “We Work for Turkey,” with its catchy tune and lyrics, was composed by the former President Ali Mahmut Abra. The Association successfully implements significant projects during Turkey’s accession process to the European Union Customs Union. She contributes greatly to forming a joint vision for the Turkish clothing industry during the accession process by holding synergy meetings. The first fashion fair of the clothing industry is organized. In 1995, the “Istanbul Fashion Fair,” which is held in partnership with CNR, turns into a major fashion show. In the same year, the TGSD starts offering consultancy services to the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Organization of Turkey (KOSGEB) on behalf of the industry.
TURAN SARIGÜLLE • 1996-1998
The Association transforms into an umbrella organization for the industry under Sarıgülle’s watch. Embracing an inclusive approach in line with its mission, the Association organizes visits to manufacturers in Anatolia. Among the many cities visited to gather information and listen to problems manufacturers face are Sivas, Eskişehir, Samsun, Adana, Bolu Bartın, Çorum and Denizli. In the same year, the Association puts a previous resolution passed by the General Assembly into practice and joins the European Clothing and Textile Confederation (EURATEX), formerly known as the ECLA, on December 5-6, 1997. The TGSD moves into its new premises during Sarıgülle’s presidency.
İSMET ÖZCAN • 1998-1999
The 75th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey coincides with Ismet Özcan’s presidency. As part of the celebrations, the fashion show titled, “The Republic Looks Good on Turkey,” makes a huge impression. Intercolor, a globally recognized platform for color research and development, holds its meeting in Istanbul for the first time. A book titled, “Anadolu’da Kucaklaşma Gezileri,” is published. With great foresight, President Özcan calls on the industry to take measures against the looming economic crisis of 2000-2001 in Turkey and informs the TGSD members and the public of the impact of the World Trade Organization decisions to enter into force in 2005 on the industry.
BÜLENT ATUK • 1999-2000
The 1999 İzmit earthquake, which takes place on August 17 during the first term of Dr. Bülent Atuk, leaves the entire country in mourning. The TGSD members make large contributions to the National Relief Campaign, which is launched following the August 17 İzmit and November 12 Bolu earthquakes. The relief campaign, which helps bind the wounds, plays a major role in earning the TGSD a public benefit organization status as a result of a decree issued by the Council of Ministers. The Association undertakes many social responsibility projects during President Atuk’s presidency. President Atuk also helps the industry get more financing strengthening the bonds between the Turkish banking sector and the ready-made clothing industry. The first issue of the TGSD magazine, “Mesaj” (The Message), is published in January 2000, providing a channel for the industry to promote itself for many years.
AHMET GÜNGÖR KEŞCİ • 2000-2002
The April Syndrome Campaign, that aims to fight rising production costs, is introduced during Keşci’s presidency. Implemented consistently and effectively, the campaign would later yield the desired results during Umut Oran’s presidency in 2004. The President Güngör Keşci puts great emphasis on cultivating effective communication with government bureaucrats and visits Ankara with other industrial associations. The Association visits China and Bulgaria, its potential competitors, to evaluate and get to know these countries a little better. During Keşci’s presidency, the Association starts organizing happy hours to create a social environment for the TGSD members and other industry stakeholders.
UMUT ORAN • 2002-2004
Under Umut Oran’s presidency, the Turkish Clothing Manufacturers’ Association becomes a public benefit organization with the Council of Ministers Decree No. 2003/5288 dated February 7, 2003. The Promoting Investment and Employment in Anatolia Project is launched. Launched with the motto “Work, Food and Peace in Anatolia,” the Association visits many cities in Anatolia and makes great efforts to enable the active participation of Anatolia-based businesses in national and international business.
The UFUK 2010 (HORIZON 2010) study is published to shed light on the industry. This study is regularly conducted in line with the industry’s demands and lays the foundation for UFUK 2015 and UFUK 2030. Oran actively participates in both domestic and international events during his presidency and is elected as the president of the IAF in 2002, becoming the second person to lead the IAF after Hasan Arat. In 2003, the IAF holds its annual convention in Istanbul for the second time.
AYNUR BEKTAŞ • 2005-2006
Aynur Bektaş becomes the second woman to lead the Association. Bektaş puts a special emphasis on women’s empowerment and women’s participation in workforce. The Association joins the platform where the Federation of Industrial Associations (SEDEFED) are and celebrates its 30th anniversary during Bektaş’s presidency.
AHMET NAKKAŞ • 2007-2010
The UFUK 2015 (HORIZON 2015) project, the second leg of UFUK 2010, was drawn up. UFUK 2015, just like the first one, lays a foundation for the road map projects of Undersecretariat of Foreign Trade of Ministry of Economy of Turkey thanks to its visionary content. The “Istanbul Fashion Conference” is organized for the first time. The conference, attended by industry leaders from around the world as guest speakers, transforms over the years into an important calendar date for the global ready-made garment industry. The B2B meetings, held on the second day of the conference, offers new cooperation opportunities for the TGSD members and exporters. The second and third edition of the conference are also held during Nakkaş’s term.
CEM NEGRİN • 2010-2015
The fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh editions of the Istanbul Fashion Conferences are held during Cem Negrin’s time at the helm. Negrin regularly shares the results of the Industrial Index Report on Bloomberg TV with the public every month. The Association signs a mutual goodwill agreement with the British-Turkish Chamber of Commerce and sends a committee to London for the first time for a business-to-business meeting. Negrin successfully increases the membership of the TGSD by 30 percent. The Istanbul Fashion Conference is transformed into a dynamic and interactive event. This creates business development opportunities for members. The TGSD website is revamped.
ŞEREF FAYAT • 2015-2017
The eighth, ninth and tenth editions of the Istanbul Fashion Conferences are held. The eighth conference is held simultaneously with the 31st IAF Congress in Istanbul. Thus, Istanbul hosts the international congress for the third time. The book titled UFUK 2030 (HORIZON 2030) is published to guide the industry and the economy at a time when predictions and estimates are restricted to 2023. The Qualified Producer Certificate, which greatly benefits both manufacturers and the government, is prepared and presented to the Government of the Republic of Turkey. The TGSD reevaluates its corporate identity and starts to develop a corporate communication strategy. The TGSD logo is refreshed. The TGSD members and the public at large are informed about the need for a more sustainable and digitized Turkish ready-made clothing industry. TGSD maintains its contact and dialogue with buyer groups and international organizations, reducing the negative impact of the July 15 Coup Attempt on our country and industry. The TGSD makes efforts to protect the business and export volumes with great determination by acting as an opinion leader for its members. President Fayat assumes the presidency of the TOBB Assembly of Turkey Ready-Made Clothing and Apparel Industry as a representative of the TGSD.
HADİ KARASU • 2018-2020
11th, 12th, 13th Istanbul Fashion Conferences were organized during Hadi Karasu’s period. 12th Conference was organized simultaneously with the EURATEX Congress. 13th Istanbul Fashion Conference was held digitally for the first time and reached out to 6 million views and 150.000 viewers. During this period, the importance of sustainability and digital transformation was underlined and very important steps were taken. The global Covid-19 pandemic started in President Karasu’s period and with the attendance of our volunteer members, 6.5 million masks were manufactured and granted to our government. Also in this period, President Karasu and the Board of Management took a historic responsibility and wrote a letter to the customers. This letter was sent out to all of shareholders of the association, IAF, EURATEX, ITMF, ILO and international press. The letter underlines that no one has abandoned each other, the industry will not allow this chain to break off and that everyone should gather in order to come out of these times all together with this mindset. President Karasu acted as the EURATEX Vice President on behalf of the Turkish Delegation at EURATEX on July 2020. Sustainability Fashion Industry Valley project was prepared and presented to the Presidency of the Republic. In context of investing to the Anatolia, a committee visited Elazığ’s Governor, Mayor, Chamber of Industry and Commerce and Organized Industrial Zone Presidents in order to analyze the investment opportunities in the city. After the 2020 Elazığ earthquake, an aid campaign is held and all of the donations were sent to Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD). A joint platform with the other NGO presidents in the Turkish ready-made clothing industry was founded in order to discuss industry’s current agendas and to collaborate. A joint document which includes the common views, findings and demands of the industry on the stock problem is prepared and delivered to Republic of Turkey’s Minister of Trade Ruhsar Pekcan on behalf of all NGOs. TGSD members started to actively work in the working groups of EURATEX for the first time during President Hadi Karasu’s period. TGSD Youth Platform and TGSD Development Academy were founded during President Hadi Karasu’s period.