From One World to Another

(l-r) Gözde Kılıçaslan, Bülent Yılmaz, Sadi Oktay, Dilek Yurtseven, Aslı Kapkın, Güneş Çehreli, Yelda Beray, T.Bruce MacKinnon and Dürdane Abdal

Turkey’s Asansör Dünyası becomes part of the Elevator World, Inc. family.

A relationship formed nearly 20 years ago between Elevator World, Inc., founder William C. Sturgeon and Istanbul-based Asansör Dünyası magazine founder Muzaffer Baştakar came full circle on May 1 with the acquisition of Asansör Dünyası by Elevator World. Asansör Dünyası, which translates to “Elevator World” in English, is published bimonthly in English and Turkish and has a readership of more than 3,000. It will continue to be published under the Asansör Dünyası name. In announcing the news, Elevator World Executive Vice President T.Bruce MacKinnon stated:

“We are thrilled to welcome Asansör Dünyası as an integral part of the Elevator World family. A recognized leader and well-established publication, Asansör Dünyası will help further our mission to publish and deliver relevant and trustworthy news to the vertical-transportation community, while offering a global marketing platform for our advertisers.”

Asansör Dünyası’s existing team will continue to run the magazine. They are: Managing Editor Yelda Beray, daughter of Baştakar; longtime employee Bülent Yılmas, who is now managing director; and an editor; bookkeeper; graphic designer; and assistant. The staff works out of an open-floor office located in a four-story building. MacKinnon, who visited the operation recently, notes space is used very efficiently.

Asansör Dünyası, the leading publication of the Turkish elevator market, was founded in October 1996. Sturgeon launched Elevator World in January 1953. MacKinnon explains what led to Asansör Dünyası’s creation and its association with ELEVATOR WORLD:

“Behind this, there is a terrific story, which reflects the mission of ELEVATOR WORLD and the vision of my grandfather. Nearly 20 years ago, Beray’s father contacted Sturgeon and asked him if he would sell the name “Elevator World” so he could start a lift publication for the Turkish market. Instead of accepting this offer, my grandfather gave him the rights to use our name if he would keep us up to date on that market and work with us on articles. Because of my grandfather’s generosity, desire to help the elevator industry and the impact this made on Beray’s father, when he passed, Beray felt like we should have the first right to purchase this publication.”

With support from the principals of Turkish elevator associations, such as AYSAD, combined with strong, sector-specific editorial content, the magazine has achieved success not only in Turkey, but also in Europe and the Middle East, Yılmas said. Subscribers include members of the elevator/escalator industry; professors; university, vocational and high-school students; libraries; municipalities and associations.

Elevator World, Inc. ownership — which involves close collaboration between the two magazines’ sales and editorial staffs — promises to expand Asansör Dünyası’s reach even further, Beray said:

“I believe Asansör Dünyası, together with ELEVATOR WORLD, will achieve a greater level of success and grow in the sector. In turn, Elevator World is taking a very significant step toward harmony with the meaning of the word ‘world’ in its name.”

Yılmas describes Turkey as the rising star of Eurasia, noting it boasts the 17th-largest economy in the world. A “cradle of civilization” linking Europe and Asia, Turkey has been on ELEVATOR WORLD’s radar for decades. In 1994, Turkish representatives at LIFT ‘94 in Brussels spoke with Elevator World  about Turkey’s young elevator industry, consisting primarily of traction elevators with a capacity of four persons. The next year, Sturgeon sent the Gale family to cover the Asansör ‘95 lift expo, an event “in an area having potential for merchandisers dealing internationally.” At that time, AYSAD was just being formed, a development Sturgeon called most interesting.

Since then, Turkey has clearly made strides toward realizing its potential. Major projects, such as Maslak 1453, a 24-tower, mixed-use development in Istanbul, is driving work for the industry. Scheduled for completion in 2016, the project calls for 341 new units, which KONE has been hired to provide. Turkey’s population has grown from approximately 60 million in the mid 1990s to close to 80 million today.[1] Trade shows such as Asansör Istanbul and Inelex have become popular and are well attended.

As the economy expands and the population increases, mixed-use skyscrapers are quickly multiplying, particularly in Istanbul, where the 261-m-tall Sapphire of Istanbul, the tallest building in Turkey, was completed in 2010.[2] It is set to be surpassed in a few years by the 298-m-tall Faco Tower, on the European side of Istanbul. Designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, it is scheduled for delivery in 2017.[3] With more than 100 towers, Istanbul ranks 15th worldwide among cities with the most skyscrapers, between Moscow and Sydney.[4] There is also considerable activity in Ankara, where an array of residential, office and hotel towers are taking shape.

Because of my grandfather’s generosity, desire to help the elevator industry and the impact this made on Beray’s father, when he passed, Beray felt like we should have the first right to purchase this publication.”
– T.Bruce MacKinnon,
Elevator World executive vice president

Modernizations, inspections and upgrades are some of the drivers of the Turkish elevator market, Yılmas said. Such work helped shield the country from effects of the global recession, and the outlook remains cautiously optimistic. He elaborated:

“So far, Turkey has fared the global recession quite well. The coming days will show how sustainable the current policies are. The modernization market, annual elevator inspections that have become widespread since 2011, urban transformation and fortifying buildings to make them resistant to large-magnitude earthquakes [have] all helped keep the elevator industry strong during the recession. Its sustainability, however, is a matter in question. The Federation of Industrial Associations, of which AYSAD is a member and also term president, will address this issue in its 2014 Congress, with participation from all sectors.”

The industry has come a long way in the past 20 years. In 2005, Sturgeon wrote that Turkey was producing approximately 5,500 units annually. Today, Yılmas said, the market is characterized by:

  • More than 20,000 new assemblies per year
  • Approximately 100,000 first-time inspections per year
  • An anticipated five-year growth rate of approximately 10%, which exceeds the national and global averages
  • Sufficient domestic production and assembly capacity to fulfill current demand

It is the belief of both Asansör Dünyasi and ELEVATOR WORLD that expanded reach and enhanced prestige will result from the acquisition. Sefa Targit, chairman of the Board of Directors of AYSAD and member of the Asansor Dunyasi’s Editorial Board, agreed, calling the two magazines a good team that brings together top industry players from the Old and New Worlds. Targit said: “If two institutions from two ends of the world have attributed value to one another and have merged, it means both are valuable.”

[1] CIA World Factbook (www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/tu.html)
[2] Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), “Tall Building Archive” (www.ctbuh.org/TallBuildings/FeaturedTallBuildings/FeaturedTallBuildingsArchive2011/SapphireTowerIstanbul)
[3] CTBUH, “The Skyscraper Center” (skyscrapercenter.com/istanbul/faco-tower/14383)
[4] Emporis, “Cities With the Most Skyscrapers” www.emporis.com/statistics/most-skyscraper-cities-worldwide
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Elevator World | June 2014 Cover