Istanbul Chamber of Commerce

Founded in 1882, the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ICOC) is one of the oldest and most important professional organisations in Turkey, representing the Turkish business community with its approx. 350,000 members. In terms of size and activity, it ranks as one of the largest 5 chambers of the world. In line with the positions of both European and Turkish business circles, it supports Turkey's EU membership and lobbies in this direction. Esteeming commercial relations as the most important aspect of international relations in general, it aims at increasing international trade with regard to both quantity and quality and making Turkey, especially Istanbul, an attractive trade hub. It puts a special importance on development of SME’s, the backbone of the economy. Having signed the UN Global Compact, it highly respects universal values such as environment, sustainable development, and human rights.

Consciousness of this important responsibility, ICOC functions with the quality policy of member-orientated management mentality, institutional respectability, contemporary and effective service, respect and care for human and environment. Consequently, it was awarded as the “Best Chamber in Europe” in the Eurochambres Accreditation Project 2002.

As a semi-governmental organisation, its role is defined by the Turkish Union of Chambers and Stock Exchanges Law. Accordingly, it carries out legal obligatory duties, such as

  • Issuing registrations (800 on average per day)

  • Issuing foreign trade documents (1.4 million per year)

  • Hosting trade delegations and representatives (around 100 per year)

  • Serving visitors (6,000 on average per day)


Besides the routine Chamber duties, ICOC gives many services to its members in order to increase their awareness about the latest developments in Turkey and around the world and provide them with a competitive advantage in the global sense.

Among sector orientated work of the ICOC, development of services in tourism industry is given high priority. The tourism industry comprising hospitality and accommodation, travel and transportation and many sub-sectors employs more than 2,000,000 people in Turkey. Roughly 1 out of 10 employees earns his/her livelihood through tourism. As it is reported, this structure is above the European average. However, when it comes to the quality and competence of the workforce, there is concernd. This is a very sensitive issue, especially for SME’s in the tourism industry. While larger companies provide their own solutions to equip staff, smaller ones suffer from the lack of a system to develop their own human resources to meet dynamic requirements. Thus, ICOC actively supports and generates sector specific agendas to boost the interests of its members in the tourism industry.

Since ICOC also runs its own business and management university, it is very interested in developing the CUBITUS university business cooperation model together with the other partners.

Role of partner organisation in the project

  • Contract partner to P1

  • Leader of WP5 “CUBITUS Green Paper”

  • Internal evaluation of other CUBITUS products and participation at all other quality management activities.

  • Organisation and hosting transnational project meeting 4 and participation at the four others meetings

  • Invitation of at least one external expert from TR to the CUBITUS training course in PT

  • Participation at transnational dissemination conference during the final meeting in DE

  • Translation of all products and dissemination materials into TUR

  • Printing/publication and distribution of all main materials and products in TR

  • Dissemination of project through own networks and media

  • Recruitment of 30 members for CUBITUS stakeholder pool from TR

  • Management of associated partners’ group and stakeholders from TR for supporting the CUBITUS project activities by evaluation, dissemination and promotion support

  • Organisation of a dissemination seminar in TR

  • Signing of Intellectual Property Rights with all other partners

  • Sustainable implementation of CUBITUS course and products in TR in cooperation with national HEI


Emre Köseoğlu

Mr. Emre Köseoğlu is working as an expert in the ICOC. He has been serving the institution since 2006 in the department of the European Union and International Cooperation. He studied Political Science and Public Administration and also holds a masters degree in European Union Politics and International Relations. His main fields of expertise are EU Policies and the interpretation of the EU legislation for the ICOC’s members. He is experienced and certificated in project cycle management and has been assigned to numerous multilateral projects of different grant programmes representing the ICOC. He is a native Turkish speaker and also speaks English fluently..

Alişan Çavaz

Mr. Alişan Çavaz is working as reporter in the ICOC. He has been serving the institution since 2010 in the department of the European Union and International Cooperation. He studied International Relations and is currently studying a masters programme on International Trade. His main field of expertise is EU policies and aid programmes. He already is involved with projects of some specific grant programmes. He is a native Turkish speaker and also speaks English and French fluently.