Aegean Free Zone Development and Operating Co. (ESBAŞ) CEO Dr. Faruk Güler met with the members of the Izmir Branch of the Economy Reporters Association (EMD) for a dinner on January 10th Working Journalists Day. Dr. Güler said, “We are establishing the Software and IT Industrialists Cluster Association to make Izmir the center of software and informatics. In addition, we started the work on a new free zone in Bergama, called the Western Anatolia Free Zone. Our goal is to create 20,000 new jobs in the new region within 10 years."

In addition to ESBAŞ CEO, Dr. Faruk Güler, the President of the Economy Correspondents Association (EMD) Izmir Branch Murat Demircan, Izmir Journalists Association Vice President Dilek Gappi, association members and their spouses attended the January 10th Working Journalists' Day dinner held at ESBAŞ Restaurant. Stating that he always saw the press workers as his friends, Dr. Faruk Güler emphasized that they will continue to celebrate January 10th Working Journalists' Day at ESBAŞ in the coming years.



“10 Companies in 2 Years; 100 Percent Export” 

Explaining that they have started to reap the fruits of their efforts to attract investors operating in the software and IT sectors to the Aegean Free Zone for the last two years, Güler said: “There is a large human resources pool in Izmir in terms of software and information technologies. With this in mind, we set out to attract companies operating in the sector to our region 2 years ago. The Ministry of Commerce and the General Directorate of Free Zones made an announcement that software companies can benefit from free zone incentives if they export 100%. In this way, we have attracted 10 software companies to our region in the last two years. All of them export 100 percent. Now, we are taking one more step and establishing the Software and IT Industrialists Cluster Association.”

It Will Become a Center for IT and Software Sectors

Noting that the associations and clustering projects they have established in the aerospace and defense industry in previous years have yielded very positive results, the new association to be established will focus on IT and software, ESBAŞ CEO Dr. Faruk Güler said, “The meeting we held in our region last year was attended by the top executives of the most important companies in the IT and software sectors. Izmir Chamber of Commerce, Aegean Region Chamber of Industry, universities, non-governmental organizations, businesspeople associations will also become members of the Software and IT Industrialists Cluster Association. There is nothing withholding Izmir from becoming the center of IT and software in Türkiye in the coming years.”

Target: 20 thousand Employment in 10 Years

Noting that they started a second project to increase employment in Bergama, Dr. Güler said, “As part of our work on our new free zone, which we call Western Anatolia Free Zone, we established our company with the title of Western Anatolia Free Zone Development and Operating Co. (BASBAŞ). We must continue to create jobs and continue our efforts to attract new investments and investors to our country. Our goal is to provide 20 thousand jobs in the next 10 years in the new free zone to be established.

“Gutted and Far from Being Celebrated”

EMD Izmir Branch President Murat Demircan thanked ESBAŞ for the night. Demircan said, “January 10th Working Journalists' Day in Türkiye, where thousands of journalists are unemployed and ranked 153rd among 180 countries in the league of press freedom, is a meaningless day for us journalists, far from being celebrated. On the other hand, journalists who have managed to survive until today by struggling with governments and capital throughout their 4,000-year history, unfortunately cannot show the same resistance in competition with digitalization and social media for the last 20 years.”

“Thousands of Journalists are Unemployed”

Emphasizing that journalists are at the top of the business lines with the highest unemployment, Demircan said, “Thousands of our colleagues are unemployed. Very few of the people who graduated from journalism faculties can find a job. If we look at EMD Izmir Branch, only 48 of our 152 members can continue their journalism profession. While 39 of our members are working in the corporate communication sector, 65 of our members have to work in other professions or are unemployed.”