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UNDP Türkiye: This is the New Horizons Podcasts prepared by United Nations Development Programme in Turkey. International Women's Day is celebrated this week on 8th of March. In this episode, we will talk about a story of a leader and woman entrepeneur. Asuman Yazmacı lives in Şanlıurfa and works as a women entrepreneur active in tourism sector. Currently operating a restaurant, she was also in the ‘’ Stone Carving in the world’s oldest temple: Göbeklitepe’’ project , which is supported by the ‘’ Future Lies in Tourism’’ with the cooperation of UNDP and Anadolu Efes. Asuman Yazmacı shared her challenges and joys as a social activist. Contributing to change in her city, Asuman Yazmacı explains why she took action and what encouraged her :

Asuman Yazmacı: In February 2005, I brought a group of friends from İstanbul to meal. My previous place was serving as a teacher’s guesthouse at that time. They also had a restaurant. The bad meal I ate and the bad service I received there caused Cevahir to born. When everything was going bad I told the manager ‘’ I feel embarassed to my friends. I told them that this is the best place in Urfa and brought them especially here. Why it is so bad?’’ . He replied, ‘’ You have to be satisfied from this, mam.’’. I wasn’t actually. Maybe, the answer he gave encouraged my entrepreneurial spirit. Everytime I was facing excellent places with insufficient service, bad food; but still the place was considered as excellent.In order not to live such consequences and ensure nobody too and the manager’s ‘’you have to be satisfied.’’ answer gave enough courage; I told to myself ‘’ I can do this and I need to raise awareness in this city.’’, which is also my priority target. We are living in a city that women are perceived different and there is still remenants of the feodal ages. I wanted to changes these as a priority.

UNDP Türkiye: We listened Asuman Yazmacı. Theme of this International Woman’s Day is ‘’ Planet 50-50: Step It Up’’. Within that context, it is aimed to provide gender equality in all areas and sectors globally by 2030. One of the field needs to be acted on is entrepreneurship. According to Turkish Statistical Institute; only 8% of the employers in Turkey are women, the men constitutes 92%. Did Asuman Yazmacı, who is  an successful example in this field, have any hesistations or worried ? Let’s listen to Asuman Yazmacı:

Asuman Yazmacı: In fact, at start I didn’t any worries or hesistations.‘’ If you can believe, you can succeed’’ is my motto . I did everything without hesitation and didn’t have any worries during the process. People close to me, my relatives had some worries. For example, my uncle told me ‘’ I wish you were operating in another sector. You will have trouble because this is a male-dominating one.’’. My reaction was, ‘’ You can bring this matter only after I ask help from you.’’ Thank God, I didn’t have any troubles.

UNDP Türkiye: Besides being an entrepreneur, Asuman Yazmacı is a social activist in civil society. She is senior board member of the Board of Women Entrepreneurs in The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey. Additionally, she is the chairwoman of Foundation of Entrepreneur Businesswomen. She is the first councilwoman and chairwoman of Şanlıurfa Chamber of Commerce and Industry since 1894. She explains working in non-profit organizations:

Asuman Yazmacı: In fact, I don’t think there are any disadvantages in working in non-profit organizations. When I think about the positive side... In my opinion,each  women entrepreneur should also be social entrepreneurs, because they should crown their efforts with non-profit organizations. I am working in non-profit organizations for nearly 9 years. As I said earlier; I am senior board member of the Board of Women Entrepreneurs in The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey, I am Chairwoman of Foundation of Entrepreneur Businesswomen, I am the councilwoman and chairwoman of Şanlıurfa Chamber of Commerce and Industry. O have seen a lot needs to be done for women during these processes. I comprehend how important to cooperate and produce together, thus I think I received more than I gave. You spend your time for non-profit organizations and, there are tremendous friendships, I think I also have those friendships. No matter what, non-profit projects makes people happy and richer, I learned it through experiencing it. Genuinely speaking, If you move something forward for other people, your life standard also improves. Because, as community changes, you find a place in an improved society as well. As a person who didn’t experience any negativity, I can say that there lots of ups in that sense.

UNDP Türkiye: Asuman Yazmacı sivil toplumda başarılı bir aktivist olmak için gereken üç temel yeteneğin şunlar olduğunu belirtiyor:  Asuman Yazmacı explains 3 essencial requirement for to be a successful activist in civil society.

Asuman Yazmacı: If you want to succeed; you should be geniune, determined and enthusiastic. You  have to be determined. This is the way to success in non-profit organizations in my opinion. I experienced these in my life. You have to be clear, determined and enthusiastic. If you do this three things, there are no reasons for not to succeeding.

UNDP Türkiye: Asuman Yazmacı tells what would she change in her city if she had a magic wand:

Asuman Yazmacı: In fact, what I would like to change most would be the people’s percetions. I would like them to perceive the life differently; more visionary and wider. I observe this more in women; especially in non-profit organizations I experience this, in work life as well. Especially I want women to be free of such unnecessary ambitions.

UNDP Türkiye:We listened Asuman Yazmacı. Does she have any inspritaions and how did he or she inspired her ?

Asuman Yazmacı: I didn’t consider anybody as an inspiration. But my mother is important for me and I owe my personality to my mother and my aunt. I lost my mother at an early age. She was 32 when she passed, in 1984 I was 10 years old. But it has been 32 years. I always feel her presence. In my every decision that I take, I always asked myself ‘’ What would she want? ‘’ and acted in that direction. Only her.

UNDP Türkiye: Asuman Yazmacı, give advice who wants to be an activist like her :

Asuman Yazmacı: I observe that women...actually  people who doesn’t collect hatred, go further. In that sense, my advice would be : They should stick to their decisions, be determined, courageous and humble. In the end the will be successful. Because, If you have a belief, a target; If you don’t leave your dreams, everyhing will be possible.

UNDP Türkiye: We have come to end of the episode of New Horizons with the words of Asuman Yazmacı. In this episode, we talked about a story of a leader and woman entrepeneur. This program has been recorded at the studio of Yodiviki in İstanbul. You can follow our program on FM frequency in İstanbul, on Açık Radyo (Open Radio) on Internet, on university radios in our broadcasting network, on iTunes, Soundcloud, TuneIn, Pure Connect, Yodiviki, Audioboo and TTNET Müzik in podcast format, and also on tr.undp.org. Our user name for social media is undpturkiye. Hope to see you soon, good-bye!









Story of a woman entrepeneur who did not 'Take it or leave it'

Asuman Yazmacı, Entrepreneur