A Rip in the Sea

What do business leaders really do? What new responsibilities do we face? How can we be part of solving local and global challenges? What’s next for Turkey, “the world’s best-kept secret”?

Bülent Eczacıbaşı asks these probing questions and many others while examining management and family business, Turkey’s idiosyncratic economy, global sustainability, civic engagement, and the foundational role of art and culture. Against the backdrop of momentous change in Turkey over the last century, he reflects on a family legacy of turning business success into a driving force for societal development. Weighing his own experience in dialogue with academic experts, Bülent Eczacıbaşı explores the crucial role for businesspeople in confronting the local and global challenges that lie ahead.

A Rip in the Sea is for people interested in the business world and especially for young people just starting out in business life, or those considering a career in business.


This is the work I do:
I paint the sky every morning,
While you’re all asleep.
You wake up and see it’s blue.

Sometimes there’s a rip in the sea,
You don’t know who sews it together;
I do.

Excerpt from the poem
“Mahmut the Loafer” by Orhan Veli Kanık (1914-1950)
Translated by Mary Craig

Please click here to read the Preface to the English Edition and Foreword.  →





Culture & Art

Issues at the core of this chapter are the transition to institutional practices, management, and governance. The conversation examines the strengths and weaknesses of family companies and the steps necessary to increase their lifespan and ensure they are managed effectively.

The middle-income trap, productivity, inflation, exchange rates, incentives, and industrial policies are among the issues discussed in the second chapter. The conversation addresses the visionary decisions that need to be made in light of worldwide developments in order to ensure Turkey’s sustainable growth and business success.

Sustainability, and particularly the dimensions of sustainability of concern to businesspeople, form the basis of this chapter. This conversation hones in on climate change, the greatest threat facing the planet today.

This chapter starts with society’s view of businesspeople and then examines what businesspeople can do with respect to social issues. The conversation touches on charity in Turkey, education, equal opportunity, and the relationship between the private sector and NGOs.

With its discussion of inclusionary and participatory cultural policies, this chapter also considers the reasons why culture, which is indeed Turkey’s greatest treasure, is also its greatest problem.

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