Valuable Business Partners of Asmira;

In my over 80 years of life, I have experienced many ups and downs. I have seen happy people become unhappy, and unhappy people find happiness later on. In our time, train stations were the symbol of both separation and reunion. At that time, you could see both happy couples reuniting and couples parting ways there. The conclusion I have drawn from all the ironies I have seen in my life is that every good thing is valuable as long as it exists in contrast to its opposite.

Companies or we as businesspeople also experience ups and downs in our business ventures. The most valuable and sustainable approach is to be a wise businessperson who always fulfills their commitments and keeps their promises, because in the business environment I grew up in, "a promise is a bond". It is highly unlikely to have a long business career without facing difficult times. What matters is being able to come out of those challenging times and continue on the path as an honorable businessperson. Over the past 50 years, I have managed my business life in a wise manner, and no one can claim that they have suffered losses in their business dealings with me. This is my greatest wealth and the greatest legacy I leave to future generations.

During a business trip to London, I saw inscriptions like "1867," "1785," "1683" on many shops on Oxford Street. I asked my friend, "What do these numbers represent?" My friend replied, "In England, the value of a company is directly proportional to its age. Therefore, companies proudly display their founding dates on their signs." At that moment, I wondered to myself, "Will our family business also last for 100 years?" Now we are celebrating our 50th year in business. My wish and dream is for the next generation to continue the business and boast of centuries-old commercial heritage.

It is very important that my past is a clean and national value-contributing work history. One of the greatest advices of the late Vehbi Koç to the next generations was, "Preserve national interests. If there is no country, you cannot exist either." This advice has always been very valuable to me as well. Therefore, throughout my life, I have always kept the interests of the region and the country above my own business and worked for them. This aspect of my past also gives me a special inner peace.

I take great pleasure in witnessing and guiding the successes of younger executives who are taking over the flag from me. It is like teaching your grandchild how to ride a bike; you are confident that they will succeed, but they still trust you deeply. Among the young executives at Asmira, one of the companies I founded and serve as the Chairman of the Advisory Board, there are some who share my surname, as well as others who have crossed paths with me in our professional lives. I value all of them equally and have great faith in them. Those who share my surname are not there simply because of their name, and our colleagues who came from outside are not there by chance. They have all earned their positions through merit, talent, and their natural ability to succeed through education. With their international vision, I have great confidence that they will go far on the path they have set out on. Just as I came from Alaşehir to İzmir, they too will reach far beyond İzmir on the path they have started.

The most important thing is the path itself; once you reach your destination, you will no longer have a path to walk on. That is why I watch them with great envy.

With love and respect;

Ayhan Aslan

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