This is the life story of a distinguished person who has combined in his personality the cultural values with which he was raised and the sine qua non requirements of the modern world...
"Dear Book Lover,
In this book, you will find the fast-moving story of how Kemal Şahin, born in a small mountain village in the Taurus Mountains, made a success ‘from scratch’ in Germany where he went to study with state scholarship. Şahin has reached billion dollars with the companies he has set up in Turkey, Europe and the USA. In 97, he was designated the “Best Businessman of the Year” in Germany ", and in 98 he was elected the "Honorary Entrepreneur of Europe". We hope that you will find in Kemal Şahin's life some events and ideas that will inspire you and give you another perspective on life..."
The story of an extraordinary person who started life in Taşlıpınar, a small mountain village on the skirts of the Taurus Mountains, under extremely limited conditions, and who climbed to the top in the city of Aachen in Germany. When faced with challenges after stepping in to the city that would open him the doors to knowledge and innovation, he said “Will I settle for a lifetime in Taşlıpınar? In Seydişehir there are elegant ladies and gentlemen, beautiful and cleanly dressed girls and my teachers. I should also go to school and be like them," and hence started his adventure, which would lead him to the top.
One day as he was working in the field, he received the good news that he had won the exams that would enable him to go to the Konya High School as a boarding student. Then he enrolled. In the ensuing years, young Kemal successfully graduated from high school. When the time came for the university entry exams, he was challenged by the attitude of his father, Osman ŞAHİN, who was saying "my son will be a military general". Young Şahin had other ideas. And here is how Şahin recounts those days: "When I set off from Taşpınar to Ankara for the university entry exam, I had 350 Liras in my pocket. My father had given the 300 Liras. I knew that this money would not be enough to get me through the 15-day exam marathon in Ankara and Istanbul, but I was unable to persuade by father. He was comparing the hotel and food prices in Ankara with those in Beyşehir. The 50 Liras which my mother had secretly given did not help much. I had no spare clothes save those I was already wearing. With mixed feelings, I had set off on my journey to Ankara."
"Kemal Şahin, coming from a small village in the Taurus Mountains, went to study in Germany. But he did not only get a degree. With the companies he has set up in Germany and Turkey, he provided employment and food for 10 thousand people. I know his village. He has shown everyone what my hardworking Anatolian people can do..."
9th President of the Republic of Turkey
Rushing from one exam to another, young Kemal was left penniless, but his desperate circumstances could not prevent him from passing the exams for the Konya Education Institute, the Air Force and Military Academy as well as the METU Department of Mechanical Engineering. While his beloved father wanted him to be a general, he had already made his decision, so he went and enrolled in the METU.
The turning point of his life was the scholarship he won for studying abroad. He describes this development as follows: "It was perhaps the happiest moment of my life. Even the happiness I felt years later, when I was designated the ‘Businessman of the Year’ in Germany, could not rival it.” After being sent by Etibank to the Technical University of Aachen in Germany, Kemal Şahin successfully graduated in 1982, becoming a Metallurgical Engineer, MSc. However, Turkey was in chaos in those years. So, young Kemal had no intention of returning to his country, at least for a while.
"Turks coming to Germany to work or study now open workplaces and create employment. They contribute to a faster growth and expansion in the German economy. Entrepreneurs like Kemal Şahin also help in better promoting Germany in the international arena."
President of Germany
The German government did not permit him to work as an engineer in Germany. So, as one of the most feasible ways of remaining in Germany, he chose to become self-employed, and started his business life by opening a small shop. This situation was summarized 15 years later by Prof. Dr. Eduard Gaugler, head of the jury selecting Kemal as the “Businessman of the Year” in Germany: "The German bureaucracy can sometimes be a catalyst for some very good developments, even if unintentionally. The most concrete example of it is the businessman standing before you, Kemal ŞAHİN.” So, what was the secret that carried young Şahin to the top with such a short journey?
"Kemal Şahin is a binding agent between Turkey, Europe and people from different ethnicities. Serving as a bridge in economy and politics, Şahin is not an easy person, but he is a very impressive friend."
Member of the European Parliament
And here is the short but impressive story of his climb to the top, in Kemal ŞAHİN's own words: "When starting the business, I did not have a large capital. I paved my path by gaining the market’s trust. I started up with the 5 thousand Marks I had earned during my internship. But even that was not my real capital! My biggest capital was my honesty and reliability. So I used that capital. These two factors are the reason I was able to climb to the top, and the reason I am still holding on at the top."
"Not allowing Kemal Şahin, graduate of our Technical University of Aachen, to work as an engineer has turned out to be very lucky for us. So, with the companies he has built, he became an important factor for our region. In a short time, Kemal Şahin became the largest Turkish-origin group in Germany, playing a determining role in the economic relations between Germany and Turkey; furthermore, he is also an exemplary person with his socio-cultural activities and the things he has done in the field of education.”
Dr. Jürgen Linden
Mayor of Aachen
Another important characteristic of Kemal Şahin is his approach to different cultures. Saying that differences can only be a cause for unity, and never a cause for jealousy, prejudices, complexes etc, Kemal ŞAHİN is, in the words of German Parliamentarian Martin Schults, "A real binding agent between Turkey and Europe and different ethnicities..."
Continuing to climb to the top with an approach based on integrity and principles, Kemal ŞAHİN never forgot his past. Here is what he says on this matter: "This wealth did not severe my ties with my past; when the occasion calls, I still eat on a floor table, and I still sleep on a mattress on the floor. But I am also able to start a dialogue with select people in the most luxurious hotels. This is because I have managed to synthesize my past and my present, and I have adopted an approach that embraces everyone."
"Today, Kemal Şahin is the owner of the largest Turkish Group of Companies in Federal Germany. However, to mention only his commercial successes and not to highlight his engagements in the social and societal area would be unfair. Giving scholarships to hundreds of successful students who have no income, Kemal Şahin has his signature under many socio-cultural services. Also making great contributions to reinforcing the Turkish-German economic relations, Kemal Şahin is a member of the External Relations Commission of our Union of Chambers of Germany, a fact which pleases me immensely."
Hans Peter Stihl
Chairman of the Union of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Germany
And maybe because of all these reasons, Sakıp SABANCI says the following about him:
"In Kemal Şahin's eyes, I see my father, Hacı Ömer Sabancı. Young entrepreneurs like Kemal Şahin will carry Turkey to 2000s. I heartily congratulate him, especially for his successes abroad."
The change and development experienced by Kemal ŞAHİN is also reflected in the village of Taşlıpınar, where he was born and where he spent his childhood. Şahin evaluates this reflection as follows: "There used to be a lot of fights, due to poverty and ignorance, in the village of Taşlıpınar, where people work hard to scrape a living by fighting many challenges. The rows started because of small matters, yet escalated to such violence that a few people would end up dead, and the 3-5 perpetrators would face long prison sentences.
Taşlıpınar's ill luck changed in 1982 with the founding of the Şahinler Holding. When setting up my first company in Turkey, I took in as partners many of my fellow villagers as well as my relatives. Those who did not have the money for partnership, I took in as workers. Today, most of the young people in Taşlıpınar are working in various departments in Şahinler Holding. Hence, now only the elderly remain in the village. So, the elderly praise me and pray for me, while also criticizing me for causing them to be the only ones remaining in the village. But, when I look back, I am very happy. The wealth pouring into the village has changed the appearance of Taşlıpınar and increased the knowledge and education levels of its people."
As you can see, with his life story and his ideas, Kemal ŞAHİN is a very good example for the people of Anatolia. The achievements of this person, who has made it to the top with conviction and determination, are in no way accidental. He has always remained strong, by being a modern person while never severing his ties with no way accidental. He has always remained strong, by being a modern person while never severing his ties with traditional values, and by always upholding reason. These values have carried him to the crest of the Turkish textile as the owner of a group of companies employing 10 thousand people and listed among the most respectable companies of Europe.
To all segments of a society looking for hope, we recommend reading the story of the life of Kemal ŞAHİN.