Turkey Will Do Well
YEAR 1998... One day İzzet Garih entered his father Üzeyir Garih’s room at Alarko Holding. His father gave him this message during a short meeting regarding work.
- Look son, my most important legacy to you are my recommendations.
Thereupon, İzzet Garih entered his father’s room and tried to get his recommendations. However, it was impossible to talk in length at the office. He told his father his observation and asked for a solution:
- Dad, you shared your recommendations with everyone in your book. I am your son. Can’t you give me preferential treatment regarding your recommendations?
Üzeyir Garih gave his son the clue to preferential treatment.
-We will chat with you and you can pick out your tips from there.
He gave the following formula for long conversations.
-Let’s have 2 hour conversations along with tea and coffee one Sunday afternoon each month. You can take your notes.
During our New York trip, following our Columbia University campus tour İzzet Garih told me he was considering collecting the conversations he had with his father in a book.
- We had about 38-40 Sunday conversations with my late father from 1998 to August 2001 when he passed away. I took notes that were very important for me. I want to share those notes with everyone.
Then he shared with me some of his father’s important messages.
- Money is like alcohol. One may get spoiled the more one earns. At the same time important losses of money may lead one to depression. Üzeyir Garih told his son that a mechanical relation should be established with money:
- Don’t get drunk when you earn money and depressed when you lose money…
Father Garih likened money to the human body:
-When you earn money from an undertaking don’t invest it in another endeavor immediately. Money should be left to rest. Money has to rest just as people have to rest. He pointed to the “sacred” aspect of money.
- You need money to send your children to school, to help the poor. Therefore, money has a sacred aspect. Therefore, never drop your wallet and never leave it on the floor. He often advised his son to help the poor.
- Give the necessary amount of the money you earn to the poor. Otherwise the system will not feed you.
Üzeyir Garih emphasized this point regarding work:
- If you are honest, if your project is correct, money will come and find you because money also looks for a secure place to park.
During our trip to New York with İzzet Garih we often remembered Üzeyir Garih. May he rest in peace… One who has many friends is strong. One day Üzeyir Garih gave his son the following message:
- Money is not the most important strength. The strongest one is the one that has the most friends. Then he added:
- Your strength is equal to the total energy of all your friends who love you…
I used to vaccinate you on the seaside, the boat
One day ÜZEYİR Garih reminded his son İzzet Garih the time he was 12:
- When you were 12 sometimes we used to walk by the seaside or get on a boat and row. In a sense, I used to “vaccinate” you then. In other words, I used to tell you about life and my outlook on life. Then he quoted one of his recommendations:
- Don’t forget to “vaccinate” your children…
The Most Important Bank Account is Benefaction
Izzet Garih Chairman of the Board of the ALARKO Group of Companies quoted one of the metaphors used by his father who established the group with İshak Alaton.
- Bank of Favor (BOF).
Then he explained what it meant.
- My father used to say, “Your most important bank account is the favors you have done.”
Then he related the following message by his father:
- BOF is the total of the favors one has thrown into the ocean.
After relating a small number of his father Üzeyir Garih’s recommendations, Izzet Garih Chairman of the Board of the ALARKO Group of Companies gave the following message:
- In the near and mid-future Turkey will do well. An income of 15-16 thousand dollar per capita income will be reached shortly…
The Chairman of Holding Company will change every 5 years
İZZET Garih stated that Ishak Alaton, who laid the foundations of Alarko Holding with his father Üzeyir Garih, turned over the chairmanship of the Board to him on his own accord 1.5 years before he passed away.
- The late Mr. İshak Alaton trusted me and turned over the duty to me. He continued to be with us as Honorary Chairman until his death.
I was curious to find out how the chairmanship would be conducted between the two families, so I asked and he explained:
- My father and Mr. Alaton used to rotate the chairmanship every 5 years. We will do the same. The chairmanship will be carried out by members of the two families alternatingly. When my 5 years are over, it will pass to the Alaton family.
He pointed out that the shares in the Alarko Group were divided 50-50 between the two families.
- After I became Chairman of the Holding the Alaton family always gave me their support. Showed their trust in me.
We Export Goods Worth US$ 100 Million to the US.
I was with İzzet Garih when he met his namesake İzzet Benardete in New York. Benardete gave me his card and the name of the company attracted my attention.
- EDPA USA Inc. Chairman of the Board.
I remembered the EDPA Foreign Trade Company of Akın Holding. The late Turgut Özal had foreign trade companies established. Then some of them closed down. I had not realized that EDPA continued its activities. Benardete pointed out that they were partners with Nuri Akın at EDPA USA Inc.
- I spend 6 to 8 months a year in the USA. We export goods worth US$ 100 million to the USA.