TBCCI Chairman Emma Edhem’s 2018 New Year Message

Dear Member and Friend,

We’ve left behind yet another extraordinary year in the world, and a great year for the Turkish British Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Looking back, some of my favourite highlights of 2017 include:

  • The most successful and by far the biggest UK-Turkey Business Forum we’ve organised to date
  • New and exciting themed networking evenings which supplemented our existing networking events, bringing 400+ members and friends together
  • Patron Member exclusive banquet at the Turkish Embassy hosted by His Excellency the Ambassador and Honorary President of our Chamber
  • A very well attended reception at the Turkish Consulate hosted by a loyal and supportive Consul General building upon the family we created (a new tradition perhaps…)
  • Continued support and belief in the work that we do by our Lead Sponsors HSBC and Lloyd’s and a new friend and supporter, Atlasglobal, the 2017 exclusive Forum Sponsor
  • Closer relations and cooperation with other organizations such as Association of Business Women in Izmir (IZIKAD), The British Institute at Ankara (BIAA) and Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO)
  • Publishing Opinion Articles on Brexit as thought leaders in the field with Global Britain

These are but the tip of the iceberg and cannot even begin to touch the many contributions many of you have made to the success of the Chamber and indeed in supporting each other’s businesses! None of this would have been possible without our diverse and warm network.

Looking forward to 2018, we have great events and partnerships coming up, including the 9th UK-Turkey Business Forum that will take place on Thursday 4th October 2018 in Istanbul, and a number of casual and themed networking evenings to take place in London, amongst many others! So, stay tuned and please visit the website as often as you can to avoid disappointment!

Our vision for the TBCCI for the next two years goes hand in hand with the current developments and trends in both Turkey and the UK. We are delighted to report that the economies of both countries have proved and continue to prove resilient despite many challenges. Turkey remained strong closing the first three quarters of 2017 with 5.2 %, 5.1% and 11.1% growth respectively. Similarly, the UK economy continued to be vibrant in the face of a looming Brexit.

Turkey is one of the top twelve countries for potential UK exports, which increased by 22.3 % between January and November 2017, and still there is room for more. In 2016, the UK became the top foreign investor to Turkey; while the total investment from Europe was 4.3 billion US dollars, UK’s investment in Turkey reached 1 billion US dollars. Quite an impressive achievement and indicative of the appetite to do business on both sides of the water.

We witnessed these positive trends throughout the activities and role of the TBCCI.  More than ever before, we were approached by associations and businesses to organise joint events and undertake joint projects in the UK and Turkey.  We obliged with great pleasure. Business queries and new membership applications from global institutions and SMEs alike increased. Only days into the New Year and this trend is showing absolutely no signs of declining. Business queries and new potential members are at the door and on the phone.

Looking ahead, I strongly believe encouraging developments are waiting for us in the next two years. TBCCI will continue to endeavour to further facilitate bilateral trade and investment between the two countries and continue as the leading platform.

We will do this with the help of our newly elected and re-elected Board of Directors.  On 13th December 2017, new Members of the Board joined us and sadly one left. It is with great pleasure that I would like to present them to you:

 New Directors Elected
Martin Bennett TBCCI Vice Chairman Turkey, Chief Executive Turkey, BAE Systems
Deniz Güngen Director, APCO Worldwide
Fatih Şener Executive Board President, UND (International Transporters Association, Turkey)
TBCCI Directors Re-Elected
Emma Edhem, CC TBCCI Chairman; Deputy Head of International Law, Barrister No 5 Chambers;

Common Councilman, City of the City of London Corporation

Dr. Ece Gürsoy TBCCI Vice Chairman UK, Chief Legal Officer, Global Ports Holding
Enver Kannur TBCCI Treasurer, Managing Director, Accounting Direct Plus
Nicolas Bertrand Global Head of Derivatives Markets & Commodities London Stock Exchange Group
Aynur Taşkan Engagement Manager, EY Strategy Team, EY (Ernst & Young)
Cameron Murray Head of Middle East & Africa Commercial Division, Lloyd’s
Tufan Erginbilgiç Chief Executive, Downstream BP plc
Engin Topaloğlu CEO – London Branch, İş Bank
Gülen Yeykan Managing Director – London Branch, Ziraat Bank
Gül Arslanoğlu Finance Director and Company Secretary, BEKO plc
David Walker Director, Spot Blue International Property
Patrick Regis Regional Director ,Turkey & Central Asia, Rolls Royce
Mahmut Sinoplu Director & Principle, Universal Trade & Investment Associates
Mohammed Zaman QC Barrister, Queen’s Counsel, No5 Chambers
Necmettin Kaymaz Chief Project Director, Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT)
Ravi Goonesena Partner, Shakespeare Martineau
Kifaye Kaya Director & Lawyer, Kaya Turkish Law
Uğur Yılmaz Director, Intech Centre

We lost from the Board a previously serving Director Nuri Bulgurcu in the election and wish him every success in new ventures.

I wish you a bright, rewarding, prosperous and healthy new year. As for me, I look forward to another year as Chairman of the leading platform for business relations between the UK and Turkey!

Emma Edhem, CC


TBCCI organises 8th UK-Turkey Business Forum at Hilton Bosphorus Istanbul

8th UK-Turkey Business Forum – Post Brexit UK-Turkey Relations will strengthen


Celebrating its 8th year, the Turkish-British Chamber of Commerce and Industry was proud to present their annual UK-Turkey Business Forum held on Friday, 29 September 2017 at the Hilton Bosphorus Istanbul, Turkey. The Forum is the eldest event, where business opportunities and methods have been discussed in the Turkey-UK country-pair context and has been inspiring and educating Turkish-British business world since 2009. This year’s Forum continued with the tradition of bringing more than 100 high level executives and business leaders together while inspiring and connecting the vibrant business community.


“We have a fantastic range of speakers, panels and discussions coming up over the next six hours, all high-level experts in how to maximise trade and create favourable conditions,” said Emma Edhem, Chairman of TBCCI. “Each year this talented community assembles for a day of learning and sharing. And this year it comes at a uniquely important and positive time. We’re familiar with the geopolitical challenges faced both across the world and, in Turkey and the UK in particular. They are relevant to our bilateral relationship but they do not define it. Looking at evidence, we see that UNCTAD 2017 World Investment Report states Turkey has been the most active direct investment country in 2016 and concluded more International Investment Agreements than any other country.  Turkish Economy grew by more than 5% and from January-July Turkish exports grew by 10.6%. These are superb numbers. But just as important as those numbers is the will. That’s what I see when I look around this conference today. Because I know that time is right to enter a new age of bilateral trade between our two great trading nations.”


TBCCI’s Business Forum is an expert information exchange and business networking occasion designed around honourable keynote speakers and high-level expert panels. This year, three keynote speakers representing the UK-Turkey bilateral economic and diplomatic relations were featured in the first part of the sessions.


The first keynote featured H.E. Turkish Ambassador in London Abdurrahman Bilgic and emphasized the solid foundations of the political and economic relations between Turkey and the UK.


Attendees spent the second keynote session with Neil Floyd, Deputy Consul-General and Head of UK-Trade and Investment of British Consulate General Istanbul. In his keynote, Floyd underlined the strong bilateral relationship and painted the picture of how post Brexit UK-EU and UK-Turkey economic and trade relations might look like.


Rounding out the Forum’s key note speeches was the Deputy Minister of Economy of Turkey Fatih Metin, who made an open call for investors to come and invest in Turkey and benefit from the numerous and unique opportunities Turkey has to offer. Metin concluded; “We will be stronger together. I hope, our bilateral efforts will develop our countries’ economic and trade relations further and carry them to the targeted levels we plan for in no time.”


The second part of the Forum was organized around four consecutive panel discussions titled “Post-Brexit UK-Turkey Economic Relations”, “Defence & Aerospace”, “Food & Agriculture” and “The Technology Agenda”, discussing current and possible developments in the related industries and how these developments would translate into Turkey-UK business opportunities.


Panel discussion sessions included speakers from industry leader companies and brands in both UK and Turkey like Lloyd’s, HSBC, Atlasglobal, WBIF, ISPAT, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, TAI, UK Food Standards Agency, Yasar Holding, ODTU Teknokent, EY, KocSistem and IBM.


Special thanks to ISPAT and DEIK who were in association with TBCCI in organizing the Forum, TBCCI Lead Sponsors HSBC & Lloyds and TBCCI Forum Sponsor Atlasglobal that made this event possible.

Turkish Ambassador’s Dinner for TBCCI Patron Members

On Tuesday, 5 September 2017, His Excellency, the Ambassador of Turkey, kindly hosted the TBCCI Patron Members to a wonderful and collegiate banquet at his Residence.

Both  H.E. Ambassador Abdurrahman Bilgic and the TBCCI Chairman, Emma Edhem, CC  enjoyed delivering a brief speech to our guests emphasising the strong business relations between the two countries. Amongst the attendees were Martin Bennett of BAE Systems, Cameron Murray of Lloyd’s, Massimo Butti of London Stock Exchange Group, Murat Vanlıoglu of Shell, Gulen Yeykan of ZiraatBank, Aynur Taskan of EY,  Enver Kannur of Accounting Direct Plus, Imran Khalid of JHK Group, Martin Shobbrook of Mishcon de Reya, Claudia Whibley of RadcliffesLeBrasseur, Nicholas Cobill of No5 Chambers, Gul Arslanoglu of BEKO, David Walker of Spot Blue International Property, Engin Topaloglu of  IsBank, Taner Kose of OPET, Marti Balamir of MIA Global, Thomas Eymond-Laritaz of APCO Global Ilkan Teker of Atlasglobal, and Aytug Goksu, Commercial Counsellor of the Turkish Embassy in London.

In the Press: TBCCI Chairman’s Interview with Global Britain

In an exclusive interview, Emma Edhem,CC Chairman of the Turkish British Chamber of Commerce and Industry, spoke with Global-Britain regarding the future of trade between the UK and Turkey.

Please follow the links to access the full content of this exclusive interview:

Part One

Part Two

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Turkish Prime Minister hosted British Prime Minister Theresa May in Ankara on 28 January 2017.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Turkish Prime Minister hosted British Prime Minister Theresa May in Ankara on 28 January 2017. The leaders discussed issues about political, security and trade relations…

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Turkish Prime Minister hosted British Prime Minister Theresa May in Ankara on 28 January 2017. The leaders discussed issues about political, security and trade relations. An agreement was reached for a £100m defence deal to help develop fighter jets for the Turkish air force.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey aimed to boost trade with Britain from 15.4 billion dollars to 20 billion dollars.

Following the talks between Theresa May and the Turkish Prime Minster Binali Yıldırım, an agreement was announced for £100 million defence deal between BAE Systems and the Turkish Aerospace Industries to help develop fighter jets for the Turkish air force.

The chief executive of BAE Systems (Patron member of the TBCCI) said the agreement “signals an exciting next step in relations between both Turkey and the UK”. Mrs May said it “marks the start of a new and deeper trading relationship with Turkey.”

May added that Britain and Turkey would establish a joint working group to prepare the ground for the UK’s post-Brexit trading relationship.

The leaders also discussed fighting terrorism, the Cyprus issue, Syria, Iraq and the Astana process.

Turkish President Erdogan said: “The UK and Turkey will enjoy a very different nature and a very different position.” Mrs May stated that Turkey was one of the UK’s oldest friends but much more could be done to build on that relationship.