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TİKAD 10TH YEAR- Nilüfer Bulut's Speech






 First Lady,

Estemeed Guests


 On behalf of all TİKAD members I would like to thank you for  being with us and for not leaving us alone on a such an important day.

TİKAD was founded ten years ago through the leadership  of 13 businesswomen. Because we saw that; one of the reasons behind the men dominated businessworld both in Turkey and the world is the fact that men have the ability to get organised and cooperate with each other.

We have observed that behind the fact that men move faster in business environments and reach target more easily lies the initiation of creating a common power between businessmen who want to walk towards a common target; number of sectoral associations and activities confirm this fact.

And us, 13 brave women, have founded TİKAD, Turkish Business Woman Association in 2004 in order to create a common leverage, give the opportunity to act together and create a platform where all businesswomen come together under one roof by gathering businesswomen in Turkey.

So what have we accomplished since 2004? Today, as TİKAD family, we are proud to see that we have come a long and successful way.

We have led the way for many activities in order to help women to shine out in business world and participate in every field of the world; we have also helped some either directly or indirectly; we never limited ourselves to Turkey.

Only a few months after the foundation of our association, TİKAD hosted the World Businesswomen Symposium in İstanbul; we have established dialogue, discussed our problems and searched for solutions together with businesswomen from all over the world,

Just a year later, we have organised the World Businesswomen Summit in İstanbul. On the second year of our foundation, we have established the Network of Businesswomen (NEWW) together with representatives from 11 different countries. The following year, together with the World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS) we have hosted an international conference on ‘A Glance to the Future: Learned Lessons’ in İstanbul.

Hence our work was appreaciated and we were deemed worth of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey’s Outstanding Service Award in 2007; we have continued our work at the same pace and with a greater sense of responsibility after receiving this honourable award which encouraged us.

As TİKAD both in Turkey and abroad we have organised countless conferences, symposiums and summits such as; the ‘Symposium on Tolerance Between Religions’that we hosted in İstanbul in 2009 and the ‘Conference on Women’s Role in Peace and Development’ that we have organised in the U.S together with Georgetown University.

But we are not tired, we know that we have a lot more to do. Our projects for 2015 are already ready.

For example; we have a Project named ‘Women Ask: Why?’ that includes a serie of Panels that will be organised in all cities and targets to question the reasons why women cannot sufficiently shine out in business world and in social life:

Moreover, as TİKAD we plan to establish ‘Women Banking’ in 2015. Our meetings with banks related to the preparation of this project continue.

We believe that we are on the right track and we are successful. In fact, I was deemed worthy of the TASAM Strategic Vision Award in 2010 for the works we have realised; next year, in February 2015, I will be participating to the World Women Leaders Ceremony in India, in order to receive the award I was deemed worthy of. Actually this is not a reward that belongs to me but to TİKAD, that is why as TİKAD family we are proud.

It is not possible to talk about of all the things what we have accomplished in the past 10 years and what we will accomplish in the coming 10 years in just a few minutes.

However, if you permit, I would like to talk about our two activities since they are related to today’s meaning. As TİKAD we have organised the ‘We are All Mothers’ conference in 20 October 2009 which had repercussions in the whole world, and our speaker was Mr. Colin Powell, the Secretary of State of the United States.

He shared his own experiences and thoughts with us and said that the fight against terrorism means to protect all innocent people in the world. Turkey is one of the main countries that suffer from terrorism and we all know first hand that women are the ones who suffer greatly; those that are killed are either our spouses, fathers, brothers or sons.

That is why, TİKAD is very sensitive when it comes to terrorism. And therefore TİKAD was invited to the Panel on Terrorism organised two years ago, in March 2012 by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe and was asked to evaluate the arguments.

We support our government’s determination in ending terrorism in Turkey and believe that any steps that jeopardize the peace process must be avoided and that parties must bear in mind that this problem affects mostly women and mothers.

As a mother, I thank the President of the Republic, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is the architect of the peace process, for showing determination on this subject by taking every risk.

Our president’s extraordinary vision and determination are virtues that not many leaders have; he has tranformed a Turkey that couldn’t see a few years ahead into a Turkey that works for its 2023 vision and has great targets.

This is ‘The New Turkey’; where its workers and employers work hand in hand to have greater growth instead of a country which loses its energy on unproductive discussions.

Don’t problems exist, of course they do. For example; we, the employers have responsibility in the implementation of labour safety law whereasattentive auditing responsibility of this implementation falls on the state. The government may enact as many laws and regulations as they want; if the employers ignore workers’ humane life conditions, at the hand of wild capitalism and with an ambition to gain more expect one worker to do the job of 10 people and see his workers as machines instead of human beings no precaution shall serve, first the mentality must change.

As the President said, employers musn’t ignore workers’ rights and must quit illegaly seizing the rights that they are entitled to. We know that especially workers’ rights in the labour-intensive fields such as; construction, mining are being ignored. We expect for the government to increase audits and apply heavier penalties.

The world is advancing in every field; and as Turkey we must work harder in every platform for our 2023 vision.

I think we must work mostly to avoid women, the other half of the society, to be left out of life.

We don’t rank at the best place on the World Economic Forum’s 2014 Global Gender Gap Report. Turkey ranks 125 out of 142 countries. We must overcome the deficiencies and work within a plan in order to go high up on the list.

For example, we must determine a target increase in the number of women entrepreneurs in 2023. In the U.S and western countries women entrepreneurship is greatly promoted and they are rewarded with the highly increasing number of women entrepreneurs.

It is said that the rate ofwomen at the decision making positions in the fields of economy and politics and the rate of women and men entreprenerus will be equal by 2050 in the West. Will the world be a more habitable place when 50% of decision making positions are filled with women who have a say in the fields which affect the world in such an important way?

 Since the sensitivity of women covers the environment they live in, I don’t think we will be struggling as much against greenhouse gas emissions or occupational health and safety; women shall, undoubtedly, say stop to this winning ambition that destructs.

Because being a mother means to know to live for others, even though they don’t see it, women act with a motive to leave a world where their kids can live happily; and that is why I fully trust in them.

In a world where women are more effective in decision making positions, bloody wars shall not happen. The world has always been the stage for bloody wars and international disputes. And during this time, the world was led by men; and right it is as if the history is repeating itself.

Especially, for the last few years the world is going through a similar stage.

Unforunately, we can’t expect Turkey not to be affected by the pains that are lived in the Middle East, we, women, can’t stay silent when there is a war going on on our border. Only a few weeks ago I was in Suruç. I went to Suruç as a women from Turkey who opened its doors to women and children that run away from war and as the president of TİKAD, an association that can do something for them. I have seen the painful side of war myself.

The President, from the very begining had seen that the war was knocking on the door and if you remember, time and again he emphasized that Syria needed to accelerate its steps towards democratization, is it possible to think that what goes on our neighbour’s side won’t affect us?

Today Turkey has opened its doors to almost two million Syrian refugees, and the Western world that doesn’t give any financial support as humanitarian aid for these people who had to flee their homes and country is accusing Turkey of supporting ISIS.

The Western world who expects respect only for their own values seek validation in everything they do and doesn’t accept crticism; how can we validate Israel’s attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque? It is not possible to accept inhumane attacks.

When you speak the truth people can can come out against you but your conscience will be free. Thus; those who accused the government of being pro-west are now accusing it of being against the west; when there is no room for good will it is impossible to escape for inconsistencies.

As the president of TIKAD and a pioneer of an NGO, the reason I mentioned all this is that as TIKAD, we believe that women must have a say in every walk of life.

I truly believe that when women walk together with men both in the field of economy and politics and when we move women from the position of implementing decisions to decision making positions, we can change the world. As women we have a lot to say to the world we live in and have a lot to do.

On behalf of TIKAD’s members, I would like to thank our First Lady, Emine ERDOĞAN, who greatly supported us in all of our works since our foundation, who honoured us with her presence in every conference and symposium we organised and whom I personally admire for her personality and intelligence.

As TIKAD we have always felt the protective and supportive hand of the President Recep Tayyip ERDOĞAN on us. He has never left us alone for ten years; the meaning and value of his support has always been very important to us. I ask for his support for the next ten years.

I think that we need Mr. President’s support who has an outstanding vision and unique leadership in order to move women to decision making positions in the fields of ecomony, politics and society and to break the men dominated structure.

Because, in order to create a management understanding where ‘humanbeings’ are in the center, we need people who understand how much work it is to give birth to and raise that ‘humanbeing’

I would like to thank you again for being here with us on TIKAD’s 10th year anniversary and sharing this honour. Welcome again.



TIKAD is set to host the First Lady of the Republic of Turkey, as well as prominent business leaders at an exclusive Conference titled "The role of Business world in Building a Sustainable Green Economy," on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 in New York.

Chair Mrs Nilufer Bulut and vice-chair Mrs Sema Güral Sürmeli participated in a webinar called " Mothers at Business World" as speakers on Mother´s Day.

TIKAD and HALKBANK held a first online Forum and discussed the cooperation after the Halkbank established a Women Entrepreneurs Banking department

TIKAD and DEIK-France Business Council jointly organized online webinar on mutual economic relationship

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan unveiled the Economic Reform Package at a Meeting held in Istanbul. President of TİKAD Nilüfer Bulut attended the Meeting

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