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Corporate Social Responsibility at İşbank

The pillar of İşbank’s corporate social responsibility policy is to contribute to Turkish society as prescribed by Atatürk, the Bank’s founder, in order to protect and develop the social values created in line with the fundamental principles of the Republic in a permanent and sustainable manner.

Planning all the social projects undertaken as long-term initiatives and acting on the principle of focusing on those projects that will create the greatest social benefit, İşbank continued to implement a wide range of social responsibility projects in 2009. These projects are established with a scalable, sustainable, and expandable organizational structure that will propel Turkish society forward in

  • Education
  • Environment
  • Arts & Culture.


The main reason İşbank has undertaken the sponsorship of the sport, chess, is that it is an educational tool that contributes to the mental and character development of children and youth, while protecting them from harmful activities.

İşbank has become the principal sponsor of the Turkish Chess Federation, continuing the cooperation with that organization that began in December 2005.

The main reason İşbank has undertaken the sponsorship of the sport, chess, is that it is an educational tool that contributes to the mental and character development of children and youth, while protecting them from harmful activities.

İşbank views sponsorship of chess as a comprehensive corporate social responsibility initiative and aims to

  • Disseminate chess, especially among children,
  • Make up for the shortage in chess education and to render it as a sport all children can access easily,
  • Make chess a popular and highly demanded sport throughout Turkey,
  • Spread chess across the student population base and reach more children talented in the sport, and hence achieve a higher rate of success in chess internationally.

From the beginning of the sponsorship to December 2009, a total of 76 medals, 35 gold, 18 silver, and 23 bronze, have been won in international tournaments. The number of chess players has reached 155,000, while the number of students who have chosen chess as an elective class has exceeded 1.7 million.

Opening chess class in elementary schools
İşbank’s sponsorship has prompted the decision to include chess as an elective course in elementary and middle school curriculums throughout Turkey.

İşbank establishes chess classrooms in schools in order to encourage elementary school students to play the sport, draw teachers’ attention to this developmental tool, and to provide the necessary materials to schools with limited resources.

As of year-end 2009, the number of schools, in which chess classrooms were established throughout Turkey has reached 2,000.
During 2008, İşbank realized a comprehensive cooperation project with Playchess, the world’s largest online chess platform with 250,000 registered users. Under this cooperation, licensed chess players from Turkey are able to access and play online chess at on a free-of-charge basis.

In 2009, over 200,000 users have benefited from

İşbank Under-8 Chess Festival
Since 2006, the İşbank Under-8 Chess Festival is held every year in June in an effort to provide an entertaining chess environment to children and to encourage a positive approach to chess by parents.

The 4th İşbank Under-8 Chess Festival was held at the Association of İşbank Employees Çamlıca Sports Facilities in 2009 with the participation of 548 young chess enthusiasts. In addition to playing chess for four full days, participating children found the opportunity to have fun through various games and other activities.

In 2009, 12 chess players from 10 countries attended İşbank Atatürk FIDE Women Masters Chess Tournament.

İşbank Atatürk FIDE Women Masters Chess Tournament
İşbank and the Turkish Chess Federation collaboratively organize the “İşbank Atatürk FIDE Women Masters Chess Tournament” in order to support women masters and increase women’s interest in chess.

As a result of the success of the tournament held in 2008, and its impact in the international arena, the World Chess Federation (FIDE) suggested that the tournament in 2009 becomes the first leg of the “Women’s Grand Prix Tournament” organized by FIDE.

In 2009, 12 chess players, including the world’s most prominent chess players, from 10 countries attended the tournament.

İşbank Chess League
Matches were organized within the scope of the İşbank Chess League, and the champion of the 2008–2009 season in the league was the Adana Truva Chess Club.

A total of 2 million students have been united with books in two years within the scope of the “Show Your Report Card, Get Your Book” campaign.

“81 Students from 81 Cities” Project
As one of İşbank’s largest scale educational projects, the “81 Students from 81 Cities” project was launched at the start of the academic year 2008-2009.

İşbank covers all expenses including education, clothing, food, and accommodation of 81 students who successfully pass the Darüşşafaka admission exam.

İşbank will continue to support the students should they go on to pursue their studies at the university level. It is projected that the number of student participants will exceed 1,000 by the 14th year of the project, the same year in which the first group of 81 students that started their education at Darüşşafaka will graduate.

While the first group of students, who have started their education at Darüşşafaka at the beginning of the academic year 2008-2009, have successfully started 5th grade as of the academic year 2009-2010, there have been new students from the 4th grade that have been accepted to the project.

“Show Your Report Card, Get Your Book” Campaign
With the “Show Your Report Card, Get Your Book” campaign, İşbank has accomplished one of the largest book campaigns so far. The “Show Your Report Card, Get Your Book” project, started at the end of the 2007-2008 academic year, aims to foster reading as a routine habit for children and to unite them with classics of both world and Turkish literature.

In the second year of the campaign, “Stories and Fairy Tales from our Writers” was given as a present to 1 million elementary school students who brought their report cards to any İşbank branch in Turkey and the TRNC. A total of 2 million students have been united with books during the two years of the project.

İşbank’s other social responsibility activities in the education field in 2009 included

  • Firefly Mobile Educational Unit in cooperation with the Educational Volunteers Foundation of Turkey (TEGV)
  • Annual “Golden Youths” award
  • Scholarships to earthquake victim students.

Over 950,000 saplings have been planted on an area covering 600 hectares in a total of 32 cities since the “81 Forests in 81 Cities” Project began in 2008.


“81 Forests in 81 Cities” Project
İşbank initiated the “81 Forests in 81 Cities” project in 2008 in an effort to create a livable environment, contribute to the preservation of natural resources, draw interest to deforestation and related environmental issues, and to create environmental awareness among the public in general, and especially our children.

İşbank plans to plant over 2 million saplings on an area of 1,470 hectares within five years as part of the project conducted in cooperation with the TEMA Foundation and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. Another important aspect of the project is that each of the saplings will be tended for a five year period to ensure that they turn into healthy trees. Within this project, the following cities were forested:

During 2008, 15 cities, including Adana, Amasya, Balıkesir, Bursa, Denizli, Gaziantep, Isparta, İzmir, Kahramanmaraş, Kilis, Manisa, Mardin, Mersin, Sivas, and Uşak,

During 2009, 17 cities, including Afyon, Ankara, Antalya, Ardahan, Çanakkale, Çorum, Düzce, Edirne, Erzincan, Eskişehir, Istanbul, Kastamonu, Kayseri, Kırşehir, Kütahya, Sakarya, and Yozgat.

Over 950,000 saplings have been planted on an area covering 600 hectares in a total of 32 cities since the project began in 2008.

The project’s planting ceremonies are held in a festival-like atmosphere in the cities; the participants include local authorities, İşbank managers, TEMA Foundation volunteers, and members of the press. Also, additional importance is placed on the participation of elementary school students and Yavru Tema members in the planting ceremonies in order to establish environmental awareness and love of nature in children.


Kültür Yayınları
Established in 1956, Kültür Yayınları continued and even furthered its publishing activities during 2009. Having collected its publications under 13 main headings, Kültür Yayınları published 391 titles, 225 of which were new and 166 reprint editions, and sold over 962,000 books. Kültür Yayınları also continued its initiatives in children’s books, to which Kültür Yayınları places significant importance, in 2009.

İş Sanat
In its 10th season as of November 2009, İş Sanat continues to unite Turkish arts enthusiasts with world class stars. İş Sanat held 46 concerts, 27 children’s events, and 7 poetry readings during the 2008-2009 season. Kurt Elling, Bonnie Taylor, Emmanuel Pahud, Michel Camilo, Roby Lakatos, Paquito d’Rivera, the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Brückner Orchestra were among the performers, groups, and orchestras in İş Sanat’s program during the 2008-2009 season.

İş Sanat started the 2009-2010 season on November 8, 2009 with a concert in which pianist Muhiddin Dürrüoğlu was accompanied by the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the best symphonic groups in Turkey, conducted by Maxim Vengerow, the famous violin virtuoso. İş Sanat plans to showcase world famous performers, groups, and orchestras such as Yuri Bashmet, Shlomo Mintz, Gidon Kremer, Andreas Scholl, Mischa Masky, Sarah Chang, Joshua Bell, Moscow Soloists, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Kremerata Baltica, Dave Holland, John McLaughlin, Monica Molina, Mariza, Pink Martini, and the Paul Taylor Dance Company in the 2009-2010 season.

İş Sanat has also staged plays for children ““Pictures from an Exhibition,” “Peter Pan,” “You Should Know...,” and “Things Not in the Notes for Children”.

İşbank Museum is the only museum specializing in the economic history and banking of the Republic period.

İşbank Museum
İşbank Museum was inaugurated on November 14, 2007 with the mission to tell the story of İşbank’s history and development and to share with society the Bank’s place in everyday life and the services it has provided to the public over many generations. With 100,000 visitors as of year-end 2009, the Museum is the only one to specialize in economic history and banking of the Republic period.

“Atatürk and the Republic in Pictures – Building a Nation (1923 – 1938)” Exhibition
The “Atatürk and the Republic in Pictures – Building a Nation” exhibition ended at the İşbank Museum on February 8, 2009, and reopened at Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Prof. Dr. Cengiz Andiç Culture Center from May 7 – 29, 2009. Upon its closure there on May 29, 2009, the exhibit reopened at Pamukkale University Congress and Culture Center from October 28 – November 22, 2009.

İşbank Painting Collection, whose foundation goes all the way back to the purchasing of Hikmet Onat’s Ortaköy painting in 1940, is the largest privately owned collection in Turkey today.

Engaged in gallery and related activities since 1976, İşbank has two galleries, one of which is in Istanbul and the other in Izmir.

During 2009, İş Sanat Kibele Art Gallery continued to host the most pre-eminent names in Turkish painting in its exhibition programs, while İzmir Art Gallery exhibited the works of promising artists. During the 2008-2009 season, İş Sanat Kibele Art Gallery hosted to the retrospective exhibitions of Güngör Taner, Mehmet Güleryüz, and Sadi Diren.

The works of 16 artists were displayed at the nine exhibitions held at the İzmir Art Gallery during the 2008-2009 season. A total of 6,300 people visited these exhibitions during this period.

İşbank’s other social responsibility activities in the field of arts and culture in 2009 included the sponsorship of

  • Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts International Istanbul Music Festival
  • State Opera and Ballet Ankara Leyla Gencer Stage.

İşbank’s social responsibility projects are widely appreciated and awarded both in the local and international arena.


Award Project About the Award
SABRE Award Support of chess İşbank’s support of the Turkish Chess Federation has been chosen among over 1,800 projects to be awarded with the Superior Achievement in Branding and Reputation (SABRE) award, accepted as one of the most prestigious awards in communications in the world, in the “sponsorship” category.
Active Academy Award Show Your Report Card, Get Your Book Campaign and 81 Forests in 81 Cities Projects İşbank’s “Show Your Report Card, Get Your Book” campaign and “81 Forests in 81 Cities” projects have received the Active Academy Corporate Social Responsibility award in 2009.
The Golden Compass Award Show Your Report Card, Get Your Book Campaign İşbank’s “Show Your Report Card, Get Your Book” campaign was chosen among 130 projects to be awarded in the education category during the 8th Golden Compass Awards organized by the Public Relations Association of Turkey (TÜHİD) in order to increase the level of service in the public relations industry and to support professional development.