Sakıp Sabancı's own words

Motorcycle Love

Switching from bike to motorcycle in my youth was a huge event for me. I didn't have a motorcycle. In those years, they used to rent motorcycles for 5 liras per hour in Adana. My father heard about my passion for rented motorcycles. He told me not to get on the motorcycle because he was afraid of an accident. But while I was afraid of my father on the one hand, on the other hand, I could not overcome my love of motorcycles, and on the other hand, I continued to travel with a secret and secret rental motorcycle. I rented a motorcycle for one day with my friend Mustafa Salihoğlu, nicknamed "Son of God". We happily race motorcycles side by side on the dirt road in front of the Paktaş Factory in Adana. A nomadic gypsy caravan is coming from the opposite direction. When their donkeys, dogs, and their wagons pulled by skinny horses approached us, their dogs were startled by the motorcycle and barked at us. In the meantime, we couldn't control the motorcycle, half afraid, half inexperienced, and got in between their squirrels. One of the donkeys fell over. Our motorcycles overturned. Meanwhile, the women of the nomads attacked us with sticks in their hands. It is difficult to describe how we escaped from there. We did not tell anyone about this incident. But we've had his fear inside us for years.

Even though something like this happened to us, my love for motorcycles continued. One day, while I was flying with pleasure on the motorcycle I rented, I ran into my father on Bağlar Road, who was returning from buying cotton. My father scolded me, saying, "How many times have I told you not to spend your pocket money on this useless tool". His main regret was not that I invested my pocket money in this business, but that I had an accident. I knew this. It's been 40 years. In 1984, I saw a small toy motorcycle in a store in England. The Japanese had people decorated the motorcycle like a trinket. I couldn't resist and bought it. After the age of fifty, I wandered around the garden of the Atlı Mansion in Emirgân on that small motorcycle without seeing anyone. My childhood excitement from years ago remained inside me, it still hasn't turned into ashes.

Fotoğraf Sakıp Sabancı Arşivi
Trainee Officer

I started working in my father's business. The first workplace I went to was the gin factory. I also continue to my father's office in Mahmutpaşa, Adana. At the cotton gin factory, I stand by the weighing scale and write the weights on a piece of paper while the cotton is being bought. When my father said, "Gather it and let's see..." I collect it. He said, "Let's see if you got it right?" he checks. I worked at Akbank since 1948 when I was in good health in secondary school. Akbank had a manager named Şeref Orçun in Adana. My father told me, "Şeref Bey, don't derail right, raise disciplined." he had entrusted. Şeref was a very disciplined manager. I was in the status of "Trainee officer". I had 25 lira per month. In the morning, like every officer, I would come to work on time and sign the signature sheet. If I arrived five minutes late, Şeref Bey would not have signed the signature sheet and said to my father, "Hacı Ağa, your son is 5 minutes late again today." he would report the situation. A few times I got a severe scolding from my father. Since then, I obey the work discipline, the appointment. I learned how to use a typewriter, calculator, collection slip, payment slip and receipt at the bank. My ear is full.

After I started working, the first wage paid to me was 20 lira net. I immediately went to my mother. “Mom, this isn't the money my father gave me, it's the money I've earned myself for the first time. I'm giving it to you." I gave it all to him. My mother kissed me. "Give it to Gulnaz to keep it." she said. When I left school, I became a cashier at the Flour Factory. My salary was 50 lira. What I learned from my internship at Akbank was useful. The manager of the Flour Factory was Kemal Pekün and the accounting manager was Sadettin Atabey. Some evenings, the cash account would not be kept, I would work 2-3 hours more as usual at the bank, and I would not leave the factory without keeping the account. Later, I worked in the accounting of the flour factory. I started to look into purchasing business. In 1955, when the trade manager Ömer Çiftçioğlu left, I took his place. In 1957, I started to work as assistant general manager in Bossa textile department. While I was working at BOSSA with the title of assistant general manager, one of our partners Sinan Bosna was sitting in the room next to us with the same title. At that time, we established a very good relationship with Sinan Bosnia. This relationship turned into a deep friendship. We loved each other very much. We started to be together all the time.

Although Sinan Bosnia studied abroad and stayed abroad for a long time, he was a person who knew how to establish good relations with people of all levels. He never underestimated people, always addressed beggars, porters, liver sellers, workers, masters, engineers and general managers in the same way and made them feel that he valued them. I learned a lot from Sinan Bosnia. If I have a different approach in human relations than others, I owe it to Sinan Bosnia. I tried to act like him, to value whoever is in front of me. I benefited greatly from this. He was Sinan Bosnia's brother-in-law, Salih Efendi's son-in-law, and Kemal Pekün Bossa's general manager. He taught many things to both Sinan Bosnia and me. We learned many lessons from him. When General Manager Kemal Pekün left in 1960, I was appointed to the General Manager. Between 1957 and 1960, my responsibility as Assistant General Manager at the Bossa Factory was to purchase cotton every morning.

Fotoğraf Sakıp Sabancı Arşivi
Like a Cowboy Movie at the Göl Casino

Due to my duty in the chambers, I used to attend the meetings of the Union of Chambers in Ankara with the members of the Adana Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In one of these meetings, friends insisted that we go to listen to Turkish music at night. At that time, there was a place called Göl Casino in Ankara Youth Park, in the building that is now a wedding hall. We went to the casino. We sat at a long table. The quality of the casino is below normal. It was eaten and drank. Adana Chamber of Commerce Chairman of the Assembly Pharmacist Memduh Görgün demanded the account as our elder. The account will probably be unexpectedly large, saying, "This account is a bit rough, let's refer it to the professional committee." and gave it to Hasan Pehlivan. There are separate committees for each profession in the Chamber of Commerce. Hasan Pehlivan, the nephew of Ömer Pehlivan, the owner of the Pehlivan Palas Hotel in Adana, is the Chairman of the Hotel, Restaurant and Entertainment Venues Professional Committee. Hasan Pehlivan examined the account paper as follows. The waiter called, and unexpectedly slapped him on the face with the word "duh". "Go get it fixed." said. We were all stunned by this unexpected behavior. Why he did this, we have no idea. A little later another waiter brought the bill. Hasan Pehlivan looked at the paper. “Call me the head waiter.” said. The head waiter came. But meanwhile, the waiters have surrounded us. Hasan Pehlivan said to the head waiter, “This bill of account has just arrived. I said fix it." said. And he slapped her on the face saying "shaakk". At that moment, there was confusion. While the waiters were walking towards us, everyone grabbed a chair and started to struggle with defense-offensive whatever it was. We also saw that our fellow countryman Yılmaz Sergici, who works in mosaic and tile works, holding the door of the casino kitchen with two guns in both hands, holding a knife in their hands, blocking the cooks, appetizers and busboys preparing to go out, saying, "I will shoot anyone who steps out of the door...".

We hit so hard in that environment that we lost ourselves. It's like we're fighting against the enemy. Even our most resident, the Speaker of the Assembly, Pharmacist Memduh Görgün, drags an ecstatic waiter, whom he grabbed by the arms, with his nearly 1.90 m. “What are you doing, Eczacibey?” said. "I'm going to throw this guy in the lake and drown him." says. Meanwhile, after Avadis Kazancıyan left, Elyafim Kandiyoti, our consultant at our Bossa factory, begs under the table: “Pasha, please stop fighting. Whatever it is, I'll pay the bill." When we were in control of the situation, the casino mafia realized that they would lose the fight and lowered the flags. “Whatever you give, get out.” they said. We left some money, but I don't know if this money would cover the broken one. It was only after everything was over that I realized the reason for the fight. Turns out, I wasn't aware of what was going on, as my back was turned to the living room at the table. Before us, they had customers sitting at the other two tables slap high bills. This situation has swelled our Adana residents; The reaction they showed to the waiters was not due to the account we received, but to the ruthless insult they threw at others.