There are also people who build a house for employees 22-Nov-2015

İbrahim Erdemoğlu is a businessman who shares his earnings with his workers and employees. İbrahim Erdemoğlu, chairman of the board of Erdemoğlu Holding, one of the people-oriented companies in Turkey, says that he had learned these manners from his father, founder of the company the late Mehmet Erdemoğlu, and by acting with the principles his father taught, he sees his employees as one of the family. The holding, which is the leading company in carpet production in the world with an annual turnover of 3 billion TL, makes its employees build houses and distributes 10-15 percent of its annual profit as bonuses at the end of the year. Profit is distributed as a bonus to employees on two holidays each year. If the profits are high, this bonus amounts to four wages. İbrahim Erdemoğlu says that his employees are paid above market conditions. He also adds that the social benefits provided to them and the life quality of their employees are high.

7 thousand workers work at Erdemoğlu Holding, founded by Mehmet Erdemoğlu, the founder of the company, with two looms. According to Erdemoğlu, the investment made in the worker has a positive effect on the company's income. Finally, İbrahim Erdemoğlu, Chairman of Erdemoğlu Holding, who made a name for himself by purchasing 51 percent of Sasa company from Sabancı Holding for 102 million dollars, explained to Pazar SABAH why he shared his earnings with employees and how it worked.

- What is the foundation story of Erdemoğlu Holding?
Our father and founder Mehmet Erdemoğlu was born in 1931 in Besni district, which is connected to Malatya at that time. In accordance with the traditions of that period, he started to work as an apprentice with a weaving master at the age of primary school. He was a very special person who was kneaded with the culture of Ahi-order, where principles such as do with less, humility, protect neighbors, not deceiving in trade, and keeping his promises came to the fore. He started his business life with two carpet looms in Gaziantep where he and his family moved in 1970. 1983 is the starting year of carpet production. We lost our father in 2006, who is known as the 'Wiseman of Besni'. He did not offend anyone; he did not criticize anyone. He showed us his dervish state by living personally. Whatever the circumstances, he was thankful.

So thanks to your father that you are sharing with his employees?
- The contributions we make to our employees always stem from the principles our father taught us.

- Well, do the contributions you make to your employees increase their work efficiency?

- After the 2001 crisis, we realized a housing project for our employees in 2002. Interest rates were at 60 percent at that time. We started this business at such a time. While people were dismissing workers during the crisis, we took action to provide housing for our workers. We do not discriminate people, everyone is paid according to their skills, but no one is different in humanitarian terms. Everybody eats the same food, managers are not given different meals, especially me, and the worker is not given different food. Whichever hospital we go to, we send all our employees to the same hospital. Our company pays all expenses.

- How did the housing project begin?

- Until 1983 we were living in a rental house, We have one carpet loom at that time. In 1983, we moved to our own house as a family. I can never forget my mother's joy when we own a house. I got married in 1990. I bought a 130 square meter house. In the 2000s, a 43-villa site was being built in Gaziantep, the income of the site would also be given to Gaziantepspor, so we said, let's become a member of the villa. One day we went to visit the construction. The house I live in is 130 square meters, the living room of the 650 square meter villa is as much as my house. Seeing these, "How are you going to live here, what have you done to live here?" I asked myself. My answer to this is, "Thanks to all our fellow employees, I can buy this house for their labor. I do not have the miracle”. While they were living in the slums, thinking that it is not right for me to live here, I immediately called my manager and gave an instruction saying, "Let's get a land from the municipality for a price." We found a place of 40 acres. We bought here. First, we started with 250 residences. We started to give houses to our workers, starting with the most seniors. Currently, we have delivered our 812 residences to employees. We deliver the last stage in 2014. The current value of these 132 square meters houses is around 200 thousand TL. The first stage paid 18 thousand, the second ones 30 thousand, and the last stage people paid 70 thousand liras and became owners of the houses. Our total spending amounted to 107 million lira.

- These social benefits for your workers increase productivity in the company. Do you get the institutional reward for the contributions made to the worker?
- If you start to help by waiting for a response, you will be demoralized from minor negativities that will occur. You definitely wouldn't expect anything like this. But there is one thing that is true, wherever you are, whatever you do, the good you do will be rewarded sooner or later. Nobody is fool. They understand both good and evil done. Do not think that they remain silent means they were deceived. So, if you do it because it will have a return, it would be wrong. But if you think whether these things contributed to us, let me explain as follows: We started in 1983 as a company with two weaving looms. We didn't even have a car yet. We came to this level from there. This is the answer to this question.

Well, you have 7 thousand workers, will the project stop here?
- We gave houses to our 800 workers in Gaziantep. We made a new land request. Because we have employees who are not homeowners yet. We requested a land from the municipality in Çerkezköy, where we have our Dinarsu factory. We have a furniture factory in Torbalı. We requested land there as well. We want the land to be 30-40 acres. Projects will start with at least 200 residences. And more to come. We receive a contribution from the employees that they can afford. Our workers' house payments will not exceed their respective rent. We see this thing not as doing charity, but as sharing the profits. We cannot do these things if we do not make a profit anyway. Since we make the profit thanks to our workers, we want to share this success with them. Most of our employees will be homeowners with contribution of us. Because there is something our parents taught us. Nothing in this world is ours. We only have responsibility. Responsibility against everyone ... If you say it's mine, you can't share something that is yours


Erdemoğlu Family started production with two rug weaving looms in 1970, and in 1998 renamed the family business as Merinos Halı San. ve Tic. A.S.  *-* The company, which later added Dinarsu and Sultan brands to its structure, made huge investments in furniture, home textile and yarn sectors, as well as carpet, and in 2010, gathering all its companies under one roof, Erdemoğlu Holding was established. Today, the company is the world leader in piece carpet with the Merinos, Dinarsu, Sultan, Efsane, İmparator and Boğaziçi brands. The holding aims to grow by 20-25 percent next year. This will provide employment for 700 people.



"I see very positively that our President Recep Tayyip Erdogan brings up the issue in question. Hopefully other bosses will do that too. We also build schools and grant them to the state. Currently, one of the two thousand students studying in private and public schools, including universities across Turkey are studying in schools we make. We are building a faculty in Adıyaman Besni. In fact, we want to make Besni University with 5-6 faculties there. Faculty of Architecture is about to finish ... If we get approval from the new government, we will start the others immediately. We give scholarships of around 200 thousand lira per month to nearly 500 university students. Our only criterion when granting a scholarship is that if that child cannot get a scholarship, he or she will not be able to study. In Gaziantep, a mosque for 5 thousand people is being built in the name of our mother Selvi Erdemoğlu. We also had a mosque built in the name of our father. Moreover, we are working on the project of making our senior employees a shareholder for the profit of our companies or directly. We will make our senior managers partners with the companies they work with. We learned this from our father. "


Sabah Newspaper

November 22, 2015

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