Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 5

Years ago I had started the ‘frequently asked questions’ articles in the form of ‘question-answer’.  As the curiosity started to build, it was time for me to start something like this and publish it on this blog about ‘my views about what I do’ along with things that people are keen to know about me. These are the questions that have recently been asked and my responses to them. 

41. Why did you resign from being TIDER’s CEO at the end of last year?

It just had to be done. I was thinking about handing the role over for a long time. There were a few reasons for this. Firstly, as I always said, TIDER is a foundation that needs to be handed over to the public and all I was doing was bringing it to a position where it can be. I just thought it was time to hand over the flag and move on.

In the 7 years that I held the role of CEO of TIDER, I decided to pass on to Miss Hande Tibuk, who had been in the board of our foundation for the past 3 years. Last October and November, together with Hande and our beloved friend Burak Kuntay, we started a campaign on the Adim Adim platform after the friendship bond at the Istanbul Marathon, which we all participated in. You can find the photos taken from this event below.



Right to left: Burak Kuntay, Hande Tibuk and myself


Another reason was due to the foundation being remembered in the name of Suzer. Here, I’m not going to be modest. Yes, the founding director of the foundation is me. I am biggest funder for the foundation. I developed the award winning model, vision, mission and building blocks. Of course everything I did and developed has evolved into the shape it has thanks to all the intelligent people around me and the professionals and volunteers working for TIDER. The building blocks have started to take their place.

However, I am a little uncomfortable by TIDER being remembered as a Suzer firm. Because, as I’ve always said, my wish was for TIDER is to develop over generations and day by day, provide better service. This dream is much bigger than the Suzer name or any other individual. Besides, calling it ‘one of Suzer’s foundations’ is a big injustice. My family have no idea of the things I do for the foundation. I just sometimes mention some things to them if the topic comes up. I have family members who support the idea, and some who think it’s totally unnecessary. I have my own independence and am making it possible to achieve the things I’ve always wanted to do. Every action I take and all the things I do for the foundation are all of my own earnings. That’s why I prefer for it to be called a Serhan done thing rather than a Suzer done thing. Otherwise, I will interpret undervaluing talks of me or what I do as knowingly or unknowingly aware. Suzer is not behind me. Only Serhan’s mind, heart, will power, determination and belief. I want to clearly underline this.


42. Will you still be supporting TIDER from here onwards?

Do you honestly think that I would give up something I gave so much time and effort to, and something I see as my baby? Of course I will keep supporting this foundation as much as I can. I just don’t need a title to do this. But if they persistently want to give me one, they can say TIDER’s “founder” or “founding director” as I was the first one. But as I said, I don’t need a title to service this foundation. In order to bring TIDER to a level it deserves, I will financially and mentally help support the board, professionals and volunteers at all times.

I’d also like to define the level where TIDER deserves to be: to be able to have the country’s welfare system in place, with the public, private and CSO’s all joining forces and working together and setting and coordinating the foundation on a corporate platform. Once our ideal model spreads within the country, we are aiming for it to spread around the world and become a foundation like UNICEF and WWF. And for this to be coming out of our country is going to be a massive honor. Let’s not forget that in the future CSO’s (especially the ones that can really provide humanity with an impartial, transparent, sincere, honest and sustainable service) are going to take on important roles in the world. And we are laying the foundations for this now.


43. Why did you take a break from your Blog writing?

The second half of last year was very busy and difficult for me. After writing my final piece about Canadian Universities, it took me a long time to really put paper to pen. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve had an energy and excitement to return and write like never before. I can’t wait to write detailed articles and share these with you all.


44. Why did you assign TIDER with a CEO? Is there such thing for a foundation to have a CEO?

We got a lot of comments regarding this topic. For people who ask me this question, I ask them “Why can’t a foundation have a CEO?” Is there such a rule that a foundation can’t have a CEO? Here is an example; Australia’s Food Bank Chief Executive is my friend Brianna Casey. She does an amazing job and her title is CEO. In developed countries, there is no such rule to say CSO’s can’t have CEO’s. On the contrary, all CSO’s have CEO’s to head them.

I’d also like to mention this; we are trying to win over the private sector into the CSO world. This means, we want intelligent and capable private sector professionals to contribute to charity not just by words by with the generosity of their hearts. For this reason, it is normal for us to use some procedures of the private sector in the CSO world.

Finally, to those who criticise us regarding this topic, there is already someone in our foundation that holds a General Manager title and the only person assigned above it can be a CEO. In the future however, we may revise the titles of the people working in the foundation.

After saying all of this, I want to underline this: whether you’re a professional or volunteer, having a title isn’t important. The important thing is the service we provide.


45. Isn’t the renewable energy sector EkoRe active as it used to be?

EkoRe was able to purchase many renewable energy power plants with its own capital. Now they’re selling these with a model most appropriate to them in order to strengthen their cash flow.

When we first went into this sector, the idea from the very start was to develop a model; from the initial stage (greenfield) or develop from a semi completed stage (brownfield), and prepare for construction, to then find a financier, complete construction and to put into use. And once we’ve put it into use, the idea was to ‘sell’ which we applied in many projects. We are not establishing a portfolio because renewable energy was my own venture. In order to stay strong in a sector which requires a lot of capital, we need to keep our cash flow in a good position. And in order to do this, we need to sell plants that have gained value.

With the recent regulations brought out in Turkey, the GES an RES projects have come to a standstill. Once we completely sell off the projects we have on hand, I will advise you all of our next steps.

46. After Nisantasi, isn’t Cekmekoy a little boring for you?

Absolutely not. Because when I was living in Nisantasi, I wasn’t someone who was out all the time anyway. Of course when my friends used to come to Nisantasi, they would call me out and if I was home, and if I didn’t have anything to do and had the energy, I used to go out with them. I can still do this in Cekmekoy as I live in an area close to the bridge.

I am very happy in Cekmekoy as it has reminded me just how much I miss nature. In Cekmekoy, I can step on soil, breathe in the clean air and can sleep much better in a quiet area. Working at a busy tempo means I can restore my energy levels here.

47. How is Moka going?

Moka (short for “mobil kart” (mobile card) and “mobil kasa” (mobile cash register) company is going well. Under the leadership of our General Manager, Mr Selim, Moka has reached an accelerated growth. As partners, we are happy with Moka. In the country, it was one of the first ‘fintech’ technologies and in the future I will advise you all of what our road map will be.


48. Do you ever get betrayed? How do you overcome this?

In a country where good work done, which is constantly penalised, do you think there isn’t any betrayal? Let me explain it this way, the number of people who betray outweigh the number which don’t. I am afraid to say this.

Especially if you fall into a weaker position or let go of control, the betrayal starts eating you from the inside and outside. And some become vulture like. They start to attack. You can see these reactions from even the closest people to you.

What do I do when I come across a situation like that? I show them how a soft hearted person can suddenly become a very strong person. If there is something I can’t do at that point, I make a note of it and in the future show them a lesson at the first opportunity I get. I try and not hold grudges, as I believe in justice but if this manifests, then I try and do something about it. These people also don’t realise that their biggest loss is to lose someone like me who would have always stood up for them and supported them endlessly. Unfortunately, once I wipe someone out, I completely wipe them out. I won’t get upset, but I just won’t go near them again.

I have experienced situations like this in the recent time. I do believe that when things in my mind don’t go to plan, it’s due to human resources. I come across this problem many many times.

In Turkey, generally people that are intelligent and know their job really well and do it professionally are not always the most honest people, they do things behind your back, or otherwise they can’t produce enough successful outcomes due to their dishonesty. If I come across someone intelligent, who knows what they’re doing and they do this with the utmost honesty, I’ll do everything I can to never lose them.

There are also those people out there trying to copy what I do and apply my thoughts. I generally don’t care too much about this as I believe the mentality that imitations will eventually bring out the truth. Infact if these imitations are going to lead paths to good things, then I’ll support it. However, if they use what I do in a negative light and abuse it for their own motivations and intentions, then I have problems with those people. In the same way, there are people that are always making speculations about me. I actually don’t care about the lies they make up about me. In the long run, what’s black and what’s white will stand out in the end.

They say the person who has the last laugh laughs the most and in saying that, for all those people who have supported me against those negative people, my family and close friends, I present you with the below photo.


Of course the people that I come across who have bad intentions or the ones that directly try to hurt me, don’t ever effect the work I produce; infact quite the opposite, they motivate me even more and allow my work tempo to increase. Inonu’s favourite saying always rings in my ear: “In one country, if the honest, cannot be as courageous as the dishonest, then there is no escape for that country”.

I hope I was able to relay to you my exact sentiment?


49. Can you give some information regarding the data processing facility you are undertaking in partnership with technology firms in a bid to prevent waste and poverty and the joint project you have planned?

We are benefiting from the Eko Group technology software. They invented the very successful software for Support Cloud and Support HR. On the other hand, if technology companies want to serve the food bankers, they can do this via ‘pro bono’ services, which are essentially services free of charge. Lately, we have come across some social entrepreneurs that say they are technology firms, and are trying to gain commission by creating a market place like environment. Where we draw the line in this matter is quite clear. Gaining commission from welfare is utterly wrong. If there are entrepreneurs like this that want to develop platforms where they can gain commission, they should develop these via  the private sector market place. It is not ethic to gain commission off the back of food banks, CSO’s and animal shelters. And where they get this commission is not important. If there is any money to be gained, the food bankers, animal shelters and CSO’s that does the work should be gaining it as the financial burden on these firms are very heavy.

As someone who comes from three generations of entrepreneurs, I want to state that I am against these money hungry type people and what they do is incredibly unethical. I also want to state that if I come across a situation like this, I will do everything I can to protect CSO’s.


50. What kind of contributions are you aiming to gain for the Support Cloud platform in the fight against waste prevention and poverty?

There are many food banks in many regions of Turkey using their facilities in a bid to prevent waste and help the poor. But the biggest problem they are all enduring is product donations. When they first get established, they are able to get product donations but in the following periods, they struggle and if they have the sources, they start purchasing it themselves. Food Banking sits on two solid feet: one is to prevent waste and the other is the fight against poverty. If a food bank starts to purchase their own goods, then it means one of these feet become pointless and leads to an unhealthy position. There are producers and retailers that want to donate goods. But unfortunately, when they have many different companies knocking on their door for product donations, then they have difficulties distributing products for donation to food banks. The Support Cloud creates a solution for the problems created on both sides. It presents producers and retailers with one platform for donations. The producers and retailers work with TIDER alone in this system; and the food banks use this one and only platform to receive product donations from a nearby market or producer. By this means, these donated products can reach people who live under the poverty line.

There’s also an economical side to this. We supply these products free of charge and donate them. On the other hand, there are some councils and public associations who have setup food banks and purchase these products with their own funds. Therefore, the Support Cloud is a platform that can help these public associations without financially straining them. Below you can find the screenshot of this special presentation for further information.



See you in the next articles I write. Till then, take care.

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