Huge donation for an idea: First time in Turkey

huge-donationIn Turkey, donations are generally given to schools or hospital buildings. It is customary to write the names of the donors at the top of the buildings.

However, this general trend was not obeyed recently in Turkey, when $1.5 million was donated to develop and spread the concept of “governance” in Turkey.

The founder of the Argüden Governance Academy, Dr. Yılmaz Argüden, said this was an important milestone in the “history of donors” because this donation was not given, as we are used to, to a physical venue, but rather to the development of intellectual capital.

One of the founders of the Turkish Society for Quality (KalDer), Argüden is the person who initiated the “National Quality Movement” in Turkey. With this movement spreading to thousands of companies and institutions and proving to be extremely successful, Turkey is one of the two countries that have received the most awards in Europe.

After quality, Argüden is focusing on “governance.” He has written a book in English on this subject titled “Keys to Governance – Strategic Leadership for Quality” (Palgrave Macmillan).

This concept is a bit abstract for many of us, but Argüdensaid in short it was a mechanism that determines how administrations should be provided guidance and oversight.

He set up the “Argüden Governance Academy” in the beginning of the year. In a recent conversation he said, “Trust is the foundation of development. Especially trust in institutions. Why is London a financial center and Amsterdam a commerce center? Because there is trust for institutions there. Those trusted societies and institutions attract financial or intellectual resources; they trigger development.”

To build confidence, according to Argüden, each institution should adopt the principles of good governance, such as consistency, responsibility,accountability, fairness, transparency, and participation.

Argüden Governance Academy, even before its first anniversary, was able to startcooperating with significant international institutions, such as the IFC, OECD, University of Toronto the Rotman School.

It is a non-profit organization that is translating OECD good governance principles from English to Turkish.

There are leading figures in governance, such as Professor Mervyn King and Professor David Beatty on its advisory board. The first donation was made by ARGE Danışmanlık to a fund set up by the Academy under the umbrella of the Boğaziçi University Foundation. It was a small donation in its way, said Argüden, but the huge $1.5 million donation came from TIRSAN, Europe’s fourth-largest trailer producer.

Çetin Nuhoğlu, chairman of TIRSAN, was the chair ofKalDer after Argüden. He is also the chair of the International Transporters Association (UND).

TIRSAN has a capacity to produce nearly 16,000 trailers yearly and exports to 51 countries. Nuhoğlu trusts the Academy, as well as believing in the significance of governance.

It is for the benefit of all of us that these kinds of generous donations increase from the business world to the fund Argüden Governance Academy has founded.

Gila Benmayor,
Hürriyet Daily News, 23.12.2014

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