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Istanbul Habitat II Being Here 13 June 1996

THE EARTH TIMES/ Istanbul –Habitat II

JUNE 13, 1996

NEWSROOM

Being here

BY ASHALI VARMA

Istanbul: The name  Yalcin Balci may be unfamiliar to people outside of  select business circles in Turkey, but it is a name to be reckoned with.  Balci is an energetic young executive, Vice President and

Member of the Board of the Dogan Group, which owns and runs Hurriyet, Milliyet and dozens of other publications in this extraordinary country.  He is a modern-day success story, a man who epitomizes what can be achieved through personal resourcefulness and sophisticated management.

I write this with special satisfaction because it was Balci who helped arranged The Earth Times’s partnership with Hurriyet.  Pranay Gupte our Editor and Publisher—and founder of The Earth Times—tells me that it took Balci a little under five minutes to absorb the formidable list of requirements to transport our multinational journalists from New York and other spots around the world and transplant them in Istanbul for three weeks.  Now such quick assimilation may be remarkable, but I am certain that for Balci it was simply a matter of making yet another business decision during the course of a normal working day.

His working day frequently begins before dawn and ends after midnight, and it sometimes involves being in several cities or continents.  The Earth times certainly appreciates the investment of this time and resources in making our partnership possible in Turkey.

And a word of appreciation is also in order for Balci’s chairman, Aydin Dogan. We were introduced to this extraordinary entrepreneur by Professor Talat S. Halman, former Turkish Minister of Culture, who contacted Dinc Uner, who like Balci, is a Member of the Board.

Finally, we want to publicly acknowledge the patience and perseverance of Atilla D. Yerlikaya, a Balci protégé, who has been our liaison with Hurriyet.

We have often made unreasonable demands on him, and he has always obliged with good humor and civility—even when misunderstandings occurred over the sort of things that make journalism such a volatile business.  But journalism is most of all, fun, and Yalcin Balci and his colleagues have made Turkey such a marvellous experience for their guests.