One of the beneficiaries of the “Şirketim” project, Abdulkadir Hammadi, is 21 years old and was born in Aleppo, Syria. Before the Syrian civil war has forced him to leave the school, he finished primary school and could not continue his education. Today, he lives in Sultangazi with his family and runs a butcher.
His immigration journey to Turkey first started in northern Syria as he moved to the city of Azaz and then Al-Bab with his family. He entered Turkey from the city of Kilis, and now he is single and lives in the Sultangazi district of Istanbul with his parents and brothers.
Since he was a student when he was in Syria, he had no work experience before coming to Turkey. In Turkey, his first work experience was at a shoemaking workshop. After working that shop for a year and getting used to the new environment in Turkey, he started to work at his brother’s restaurant. Having a strong relationship with his brother and father, he has soon learned the meat business and how to set up his own business. In the beginning, he had been working both at his brother’s restaurant and his own workplace for a while, and now he only works for his own shop. Although he started the business, he was not able to complete the formalization of his business because of the lack of knowledge in legal terms and insufficient financial resources. Therefore, operating in informal business, especially for the refugees, had been worrisome and concerning.
Prior to the “Şirketim” project, he did not know anything about the GIZ or United Work and projects of these organizations. At first, he is introduced to this project by one of his friends, and later field officers of the United Work have contacted him to present GIZ and the project in detail. After listening the project from the officers, he immediately decided to participate in the project because it would be genuinely supportive and contributive to his business.
The main contributions of the project to his business have been completing legal formalizations, including tax plate, work permit, license, pos machine, and fire extinguisher, and learning governmental regulations. Before meeting with the project, he had no prior knowledge about the regulations and rules that he should follow, but United Work has helped him a lot in terms of the formalization process. However, this is not the only support that he received from the project; getting financial aid during the pandemic has also been an excellent help for his business. Therefore, he finds the project very functional.
He would like to get more opportunities to continue his education because, for him, it is one of the first steps to boost his career. Although his financial situation is barely enough to manage his workplace in Istanbul, he would like to open more branches, even in other cities in Turkey. The biggest challenge that he faces at this time is the economic uncertainty in Turkey and the lack of funds to enhance his own business. For instance, he expresses that he is currently not able to purchase an electronic scale for pricing or a large refrigerator due to high prices. If the situation remains the same or comes at a point that he cannot handle anymore, he might move to Europe even though he now has a permanent settlement here in Istanbul and has no problems with local people or anyone. He even learned the Turkish language, which could have been one of the important obstacles for immigrants. He does not think that Syria is safe anymore; hence moving back to his hometown is not an option for now. At this young age, he is looking ahead to succeed, and he is grateful to all those involved and supported th