iChongqing Title

Turkish Entrepreneur Lifts Lid on His Life in China

By Rui Hu, Deng YanICHONGQING|Mar 08,2022

“The vast, open Chinese market is sure to provide even greater business opportunities for foreign enterprises in China.”

—–Chinese Premier Li Keqiang 

Aykut Yazirli, Director of Turkey Office, Asia American European Culture Exchange & Development Center (AAEC), and a Turkish entrepreneur,  accepted iChongqing’s exclusive interview to talk about his stories in Chongqing. He first came to Chongqing in 2011 and has witnessed the fast pace of change in Chonqing.

Aykut Yazirli, Director of Turkey Office, Asia American European Culture Exchange & Development Center (AAEC), photo by Rui Hu/iChongqing

Doing business in Chongqing

Aykut came to China in 2010 because of his work in a big motorcycle company in Turkey. The Turkish company has sent him to Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, for they cooperate with motorcycle manufacturer Haojue Holdings.

In 2011, he changed the position with one of his turkey workmates working in Chongqing. By chance, he came to Chongqing in May for the first time.

Years later, Aykut opened his own company in Chongqing, mainly doing motorcycle and cars export from China to Turkey.

“I want to keep going to do my business like motorcycle and spare parts business, so I open my own company in Chongqing. And it was easy,” said Aykut.

There’s some support from the Chonqing government if you open the company in some districts, such as preferential tax policies.

And due to the epidemic, the restaurant that Aykut and his friends regularly visit has closed.

During that time, Aykut even opened a restaurant with one of his foreign friends. He said it was always his dream to open a restaurant because people in Chongqing and Turkey have the most brilliant food, and both people like eating.

Aykut at work, photo by Rui Hu/iChongqing

Chongqing has become an international city

“I think I am one of the old guys who stay in Chongqing for a long time, and Chongqing is changed so fast,” Aykut said.

When Aykut came to Chongqing the first time, he said he could not find shopping centers or restaurants for foreigners. But now, the Turkish restaurants are easy to find in Chongqing.

Some new majors opened in the Sichuan International Studies University,  like Turkish, which just started last year.

Chongqing is becoming more and more international now. At the same time, Aykut also fully adapted to life in China. He has taught himself Chinese since he came here, and to improve his writing and speaking, he studied it again at Chongqing University. He hoped to be a teacher in Chongqing like one of his Turkish friends did.

A cultural bridge

“Now we have a chance introducing Chonqing to all over the world,” said Aykut, “we can help two countries to exchange in culture, education, tourism, and business.”

As director of the Turkey office in AAEC, Aykut aims to connect scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, well-known scholars, and professionals in both countries to strengthen the cooperation between Chongqing and Turkey. In addition, the NGO he worked for – AAEC, has always focused on improving the soft power of Chongqing culture, with a high degree of cultural consciousness, actively carrying out foreign cultural exchanges, and promoting Chongqing culture to the world. 

NGO AAEC’s intro wall, photo by Rui Hu/iChongqing

Another good news for Aykut is that the Turkey embassy, which was built in 1947 in TESTBED2, Eling, Chongqing, has changed into a museum. “When I visited this park one day, and I find this Turkish embassy suddenly, it is like a surprise for me,” said Aykut.

Aykut just married on Feb. 22, 2022. The date comes with many ‘two,’ which means love in Chinese. He will continue his Chongqing life “I love my mother country and Chongqing,” now, he is the son-in-law of Chongqing.

Aykut introduced the Turkish crafts, photo by Rui Hu/iChongqing.


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