Tarık Hallak is one of the beneficiaries of the “Şirketim” project. He was born in 1986 in Aleppo and is a secondary school graduate. He participated in the project in order to complete the legal registrations of his butcher, and all formalization processes were undertaken with the support of the project. Today, he lives with his family in Sultangazi, Istanbul.
Before coming to Turkey, he used to live with his family in Aleppo. There, he was running a plastic recycling company. However, the civil war deeply affected his life, as millions of Syrian citizens. Due to the war, he first lost his job and then his house. These occurrences pushed him to leave his country. In 2013, together with his wife and only child, he crossed the border from the Bab al-Salameh region to Kilis. After staying in the Kilis for a while, he thought that it would be better to move to Istanbul.
Starting a new life in Turkey was not easy. Especially for a refugee who is obliged to leave his country, finding a decent job to earn his life and to be a part of social life is always challenging. In Turkey, his first job has been tailoring. However, his salary was not adequate, and he could not afford a decent life without the help of his friends. Afterward, he found a job in a car wash and started to work in two jobs at the same time. Later, he started working as a butcher. He was getting 1200 TL per month in this job and 100 TL financial support from the government; naturally, it was not enough. Besides, after settling in Istanbul, he had three more children. As the family grows, their needs increased, and one of their children has an illness. After learning the butchery as a profession, he decided to start his own business, thinking that starting his own business would be more profitable and could provide a better life for his family. While starting his own business was meaning more profit for him, it also meant more responsibility. Although he basically knew that there are responsibilities to fulfill both during the establishment phase and after, he did not take any action because he did not possess the necessary legislative information and could not afford those steps financially. He worked informally for more than one year, facing the difficulties of working informally.
Before the project, he had no prior knowledge about United Work and GIZ, did not know either of the institutions. However, when a project employee visited his workplace, he learned about the project and related organizations. Then, after thinking for a while, he decided that participating in the project would be beneficial for him; he contacted United Work. With the support of the project, he completed tax and chamber registration, acquired e-signature, POS device, and fire extinguisher, and issued a work permit and a municipal license. In fact, with the help of the formalization, he was proceeding peacefully and was enjoying working entirely formal. However, like the whole world, the pandemic affected him. The workplace was closed for a while due to the nationwide quarantine, which meant a serious loss of income. In order to overcome this situation, he sought a solution and worked as a taxi driver when his shop was closed. In this context, the COVID-19 financial support provided under the project has been significantly supportive of him. For this reason, it is grateful to everyone who contributed to the implementation of this project.
And when he asked about his future plans, he states that he is happy in his life in Turkey. He has a good relationship with everyone, especially as he improves his Turkish, he becomes more involved in social life and makes more friends. In addition, he wants to develop and expand his business by adding new products to his business. He wants to cover her income loss, especially during the pandemic period, by working harder for his children. In the longer future, he wants to go back to Syria when the war is over.