Rakan Hasan is 40 years old and runs a fast-food restaurant in Esenyurt, Istanbul. Applying to the “Şirketim” project in February, he has become one of the beneficiaries of the project and completed the formalization process of his establishment.
His story starts in 1980 in Aleppo, Syria. He graduated from elementary school and started working in different sectors. At some point in his life, he moved to the United Arab Emirates and started working as a driver there. In 2012, he decided to return to Syria. However, unfortunately, his time in his country lasted for only a year due to the Syrian civil war. After a year, in 2013, he could not endure the outcomes of the war, and he understood that he would not have a secure life. Therefore, he immigrated to Turkey as millions of Syrians. Fortunately, the family could stay together during their journey, and he arrived in Turkey with his wife and five children. Today, they are all living together in Esenyurt. He has 10 years old son and four daughters, who are 3, 10, 12, and 15 years old.
Starting a new life in another country is not easy. Although he experienced this situation before, this time, it was different. This time, the country that he moved was not speaking his language; he left all he possessed behind and passed the border illegally. In the beginning, when he came to Turkey, he struggled with the language, but he did not give up and learned Turkish, and started feeling more self-confident and integrated. After a short period of time, he found a job as an employee in one of the biggest technology stores in Turkey. He worked for the company for a while, and he had no problems. Nevertheless, after a period of time, he decided to start his own business because he thought that he would feel more comfortable doing his own job, and he wanted to be his own boss. However, establishing a company does not end with the desire, renting a workplace, acquiring necessary machinery and equipment, and starting working. All businesses are subject to rules and regulations that the state determines, and entrepreneurs are obliged to abide by. Rakan established his business, but he was not able to realize any formalization process. Thereby running an informal business caused him continuous fear from the related authorities, penalties, and being shut down.
Prior to the project, he does not have any knowledge about United Work or GIZ. Once United Work reached him, he learned about both organizations and the “Şirketim” project. Following the explicit explanation provided by the field officers, he decided to take part in it, considering its potential positive impact on his business. Beginning with the tax registration step, registration to the related chamber, obtaining necessary inventory, work permit, and municipality license steps completed with the support of the project. He states that from the beginning to the last step, he had substantially benefited from the project. Thanks to this project, he made his business 100% legal and learned about the rules and regulations in Turkey. With the support of the project, he obviated necessary documents and registration as well as owning a POS device and fire extinguisher. Now, he is working with no fear of the problems that emerge because of the informal status of his business. For this reason, he is grateful for the project and who is working and supporting it.
In the near future, he wants to expand his business and requires to reach developed financial resources to accomplish this goal. He is planning to get more equipment in order to make the restaurant larger and better. However, nowadays, he is dealing with challenges with financial situations due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak; for this reason, COVID-19 financial aid provided within the scope of the project has been a significant subsidy for him. Besides, in social aspects, he is pleased with his life now. After he learned Turkish, it became easier for him to get along with neighbors, and they are treating each other with respect. In the more distant future, he has thoughts on moving to Europe, and if the war ends, he is thinking of going back to Syria.