2020 Congress Launch

"Ones adding value to the stone"
 came together

27. The launch of the 6th International Stone Congress, which will be held concurrently with the Marble Izmir International Natural Stone and Technologies Fair, was held at the Historical Coal Gas Factory. Leading names of the industry came together for the first time after a long while with the launch.

Marble Izmir Fair, displaying Turkey's richness in natural stones to the world, gains value with International Stone Congress, held once in two years. The 6th International Stone Congress, which will be held on 23-26 March simultaneously with the 27th Marble Izmir International Natural Stone and Technologies Fair,  which will take place on 24-27 March 2021, will bring scientists together with sector representatives

with the theme of "Stone Adds Value - Ones Adding Value to the Stone". İlker Kahraman and İZFAŞ General Manager Canan Karaosmanoğlu Alıcı attended and made explanations about the current situation of the sector and its relationship with the congress and answered the questions. Following the discussions, a protocol was signed with the heads of industry.

The opening of the meeting was made by Congress Executive Board Chairman Prof. Dr. Faruk Çalapkulu. Congress General Secretary Assoc. Dr. Ersin Koralay talked about the adventure of natural stone, its use in different sectors, its export and the perspectives of the congress including the experiences gained from the past to the present and innovative approaches within the scope of its design activities. During the meeting, Turkey Marble Natural Stone and Machinery Manufacturers Association Board of Director İbrahim Alimoglu, Aegean Exporters' Association Secretary-General Cumhur İşbırakmaz and İZFAŞ Executive Board Member Haldun Barışcan and members of the organization, execution, sectoral advisory, scientific and technical work committees of the congress took place.

"We will advertise the name of Turkish natural stone from Izmir"
Stating that being together again for the industry after the postponed fair periods is pleasing, General Manager of İZFAŞ Canan Karaosmanoğlu Alıcı added "Supporting power of Turkish economy, İZFAŞ, is serving for Izmir's development model with the urban coalition it set up with its partners.  We, as Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, management of İZFAŞ and all industry representatives, are working together to carry Izmir to global stage and enforce local development. İZFAŞ is a common stakeholder for the entire industry. As you are aware, this year's Marble Izmir Fair has been postponed within the scope of circular issued by Republic of Turkey Ministry of Trade due to Covid-19. We on the other hand, continued our preparations in this process. With the 6th International Stone Congress, which gathered us here today, we will advertise the name of Turkish natural stone from Izmir by appreciating the fact that we have a worldwide brand value in natural stone together with the ones that add value to it".

Dinçer: "It is important to be a self sufficient country with energy resources and production capability"
Addressing that the industry carries a strategical importance in terms of raw materials and energy, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Istanbul Mineral Exporters' Association Aydın Dinçer added "We are together again after a big and difficult process. We have seen once again with Covid-19 global crisis that it is extremely important to be a self sufficient country with sufficient raw materials, energy resources and production capability. Mineral richness, capability of extracting and processing it, the value it has in production and export are the steps that you need to focus on.  Looking at the reality of Turkey from these points, I can say that we are facing with a promising presentation. Turkey is a country rich in raw materials as well as minerals and natural stones which are used as energy sources. Turkish mining sector is an industry that contributes 40 billion dollars to Turkish economy and export of our industry in the year of 2019 was 4.3 billion dollars. In the first 7 months period of 2020, we exported 2.22 billion dollars as an industry. The industry has reduced its Covid-19 related losses to 11.34 percent. We observe an increase in export on a monthly basis in the new normal period in which quarantine restrictions are relaxed around the world. While going through all this challenging process, as IMIB (Istanbul Mineral Exporters' Association) we are working to increase the interest and demand for Turkish natural stone. I believe and support that 6th International Stone Congress that will be held in 2021 will have important contributions to Turkish natural stone industry and I hope that today's introductory meeting will bring good results for our industry".

"Production all the way, export all the way"
Chairman of Board of Directors of Aegean Mineral Exporter's Association Mevlüt Kaya said "Even though we were together in online meetings during the pandemic, this process has taught us that discussing face to face is a great pleasure. Our efforts in adding value to the Turkish natural stone continued during pandemic with the motto "production all the way, export all the way" and it will continue. Our International Stone Congress and Izmir Marble International Natural Stones and Technologies Fair are more important for us due to being first activities for natural stones industry after the pandemic. There is an inconsistency between the reserves owned by natural stones industry of Turkey and the share it gets from export. Our purpose is to increase our natural stones export to 7 billion dollars, which is around 2 billion dollars today. I wholeheartedly believe that we will reach the target with the synergy that we will achieve with such collaborations".


"Resources are not unlimited"
Stating that the city will develop much more with the congress and fair, President of Chamber of Geological Engineers Izmir Branch Alim Murathan said "Marble and natural stones reserves of our country are important.  However, they are not unlimited. It is important to process these reserves, which have been formed as results of millions of years of geological events, in the most economical way with the least loss, develop them with technology, design, scientific applications and contribute them to the economy by considering environmental and ecosystem values. Main goal of this congress, which we, as Chamber of Geological Engineers, held for the first time in 2008 and have been holding once every two years since 2017 with Chamber of Architects, is to observe and discuss scientific and technological developments in natural stones industry with a shared wisdom and add value to our country's stones economy. We believe that it will be a proper congress for our country that has an important place in global stones production and trade and Izmir that helps us in having that important place with Marble Izmir Fair".

"Those adding different values to the same goal can build the future"
Mentioning that variation of knowledge and specialties in the 21th century require different disciplines to work together, President of Chamber of Architects Izmir Branch Dr. İlker Kahraman expressed "Today, success depends on being able to create together and being different parts of a whole. Those who can add value to the same goal from different perspectives can build the future. With this thought in mind, our purpose as Izmir Branch of Chamber of Architects is to be a part of adding value with a design oriented mentality and action pattern. We fully believe that we will achieve this goal together with organizations that contribute to the realization of the congress and fair".

Çalapkulu: "Victory belongs to those who believe"
Chairman of Congress Executive Board Prof. Dr. Faruk Çalapkulu announced annual meeting of the congress and B2B interviews of 9 procurement committees by exporters' associations and meeting with the manufacturers, VR virtual reality, 3D technical and architectural presentations are being planned within the scope of congress. Prof. Dr. Çalapkulu, "Our main problem in Turkey is sustainability. We have delivered an operation model in order to continue this 12 years series of congress in the future years. Today, largest specialty fair of Turkey is realized in Turkey and its foundation was laid in 1989 with Marble Love Path within IIF. Our wish is that economic activities continue in health and peace as soon as possible. Victory belongs to those who believe".

Theme: "Stone Adds Value-Ones Adding Value to the Stone"
Under the theme of "Stone Adds Value-Ones Adding Value to the Stone", 6th International Stone Congress focuses on stones that add value to structures, actors from various disciplines adding value to stone and their relations. 6th International Stone Congress, which will be hosted by Izmir Metropolitan Municipality under the partnership of TMMOB Chamber of Geological Engineers Izmir Branch, TMMOB Chamber of Architects Izmir Branch, Istanbul Mineral Exporters' Association, West Mediterranean Exporters' Association (TİM Board of Mining Industry) and İZFAŞ is supported by Turkish Marble, Natural Stone and Machinery Manufacturers Association (TÜMMER) and Denizli Exporters' Association (DENİB).