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Sinan Temo: “It Is Art That Makes Life Sustainable For People"

Sinan Temo, the CEO of Bilgili Holding, creates timeless projects that adds global value to Turkey and contributes to its economic development. He positions his goals at the intersection of nature, culture, and art. He recently presented the audience with the latest works of contemporary art by prominent artists at ArtWeeks@Akaretler. He talked to us about his perspective on the business world and innovation.

Blazer: Neil Barret

T-shirt, pants: Academia

Shoes: Santoni

We see a rise among young leaders in the Turkish business world. You are one of the youngest CEOs in Turkey. In an age that puts so much emphasis on the new, we want to hear your thoughts on the topic. What does “newness” mean to you?

Today, the world is developing and changing at an incredible pace thanks to technology, and each social segment including societies, corporations, and even individuals has to keep up with this change. They’re fighting a battle that they cannot win by resisting time. To me, innovation means adapting to new trends and technologies without losing one’s self and severing ties with the past; it means being timeless. In that regard, we’re all trying to improve, grow, change, and transform in our own fields while preserving the ties that make us who we are. This change and development within society evokes excitement in us. The strongest way for businesses to gain competitive superiority is to be fearlessly innovative. For many years, Bilgili Holding has carried out various projects in line with its innovative goals so that everyone can share this excitement, and will continue to do so in the future.

We live in a time of fast-paced change in every aspect from technology to daily habits. How do you adapt to this accelerated change in the business world? What kind of strategies do you implement to keep up with digital transformation?

Interacting with young talents on the global and local business arena means interacting with innovation. Within this framework, the number of young talents at our company increases day by day, making us think younger along the way. The world is changing and evolving fast. I believe it’s impossible for a single individual to follow these changes and that collective consciousness is superior to singularity. We need to be aware of the importance of maintaining a young and dynamic structure and of following developments. With this in mind, Bilgili Holding provides opportunities not only for the young talents within its organisation but also the youth of Turkey in an effort to become younger. With each event, our goal is to enable them to discover and express themselves more comfortably. We see their development as a part of our own and utilise our know-know in the field to both guide them and to follow their light in our journey.

What are the core values of your success?

Working hard, going for the impossible without giving up, being just; these values have been an essential part of my personality as we all have learned them from our guide Serdar Bilgili. In addition to the vision he instilled in us, we care about generating well-thought analyses of ourselves and the world, and devising new scenarios. We carefully read the future in line with the principles of respect towards humankind, nature, art, and culture. Bilgili Holding maintains its great passion to realise timeless projects that add global value to Turkey and contribute to its economic development. Our core principles are the sense of trustworthiness we’ve earned by being selective and the creativity nourished by our connection to art. These two elements underlie the timelessness of our works. Additionally, the climate crisis and natural disasters, whose influence we’ve observed at an increasing rate in recent years, have made sustainability policies that have always been on the forefront of our operations into an essential part of our lives. All our efforts intersect with nature, culture, and art; this is a passion that brings our team together. Sharing this passion and our other values with others motivates us to work harder and to create projects with more depth.

Suit, t-shirt: Vakko

Shoes: Santoni

Bilgili Holding sponsors art events such as ArtWeeks. Indeed, you have said you wish to make “Istanbul an artistic centre of attraction.” Can you tell us about this journey?

Firstly, Akaretler Sıraselviler, renovated by Bilgili Holding, is one of the most prominent restoration projects in Europe. Akaretler, which also holds a special value in art history, is our base and home. We interpret the aesthetics offered to us through its atmosphere and cultural heritage and make an effort to improve. We attach great importance to art being a part of life in both the Akaretler project and our recent mega project of Galataport. Personally, I believe art makes life tolerable for people. After the challenging times of isolation and reduced interpersonal communication due to Covid-19, the normalisation period will rekindle art’s unifying power. Based on this idea, we’re proud to have hosted 27 independent artists with nearly 140 artworks and 3 art initiatives at our new art event One Akaretler, created to support independent artists, held within Akaretler Sıraselviler in December and January. Istanbul is favoured by us as is by the rest of the country. I believe cultural diversity and tolerance in Istanbul is aligned with the fundamental principles of art. Istanbul is the only city in the world built on two continents, connecting civilizations, cultures, and economies, and it’s already been one of the world’s most prominent art centres. The city’s unique location between the East and the West continues to present a rich content to be displayed via art. We’re excited by each scene in Istanbul so, I’m more than happy to announce that we’re working to present the city with the Istanbul Photography Festival, which will be held soon by Bilgili Holding. I feel the pride of organising the biggest photography festival in Istanbul because each value we can generate of the city is of crucial importance to us. As we feel the excitement of bringing Istanbul and art together once again, we’re proud to gather art enthusiasts with valuable artists and the latest examples of contemporary art at ArtWeeks@Akaretler held between March 30 and April 10, for the sixth time without any admission fee.


Editor in Chief: İrem Bakic & Selim Can Çelik

Digital Content Manager: Gökhan Oğuz Ünal

Photography: Emre Karataşoğlu

Photography Assistants: Mustafa Berber, Uğur Çiftdoğan, Cihan Erken

Styling: Gözde Ekici

Hair: Aylin Kısa

Production: Müge Sarıoğlu


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