WHO WE ARE
From a deep rooted history to a strong and bright future
The establishment of Agricultural Credit Cooperatives of Turkey dates back to 1863 when Mithat Pasha, the Governor of Nis founded the “Homeland Funds”.
Solidarity-based socio-economic organizations such as “Ahilik” (Turkish-Islamic guild) and “Imece” (collective work) that the Turkish nation has successfully created throughout history, have formed the basis for the development of cooperative movement in the contemporary sense and have moved further with Agricultural Credit Cooperatives of Turkey.
With a Central Union and 17 Regional Unions, 1617 Cooperatives, 204 Service Bureaus, 19 Companies, approximately 9 thousand employees, 35 billion TL total assets and 800 thousand members, Agricultural Credit Cooperatives is not only Turkey’s agricultural credit and input leader but also the largest farmer organization in Turkey.
Acknowledging the strategic importance of agriculture for Turkey and the world, Agricultural Credit Cooperatives of Turkey has been leading the sector to a strong and bright future.
The establishment of Agricultural Credit Cooperatives of Turkey dates back to an organization called “Homeland Funds” which was founded in 1863 during the Ottoman period.
The Law No. 498 on Agricultural Associations was enacted.
The Law No. 1470 on Agricultural Credit Cooperatives was enacted.
The Law No. 2836 on Agricultural Credit Cooperatives, which enables the establishment of Agricultural Credit Cooperatives with its current name and in today's context, was enacted.
Silifke Tekir Çiftliği Agricultural Credit Cooperative was established. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk became the founder and No. 1 member of this cooperative.
The Law No. 1581 on Agricultural Credit Cooperatives was enacted.
Vertical organization was completed with the establishment of Regional Unions in 1975 and 1976, and the Central Union in 1977. The administrative obligations of Ziraat Bank on Agricultural Credit Cooperatives expired.
The Law No. 3223 and the Decree Law No. 237 were published.
Agricultural Credit Cooperatives became the related institution of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry which was also responsible for auditing.
With the publication of the Decree Law No. 553, important changes were made in the administrative structure. The democratic structure envisaged in the Law No. 1581 was restored.
With the enactment of the Law No. 5330, cooperatives became democratic and independent.
The establishment of Agricultural Credit Cooperatives of Turkey dates back to 1863 when the “Homeland Funds” were set up in the town of Pirot by Mithat Pasha, the Governor of Nis.
Collaborations based on solidarity and common interest such as “İmece” (collective work) and “Ahilik” (Turkish-Islamic guild), which the Turkish nation has been successful throughout history, have come to life in the form of cooperatives today. From the long-standing past to the strong future, this collaboration continues through institutionalization of Agricultural Credit Cooperatives which Turkish farmers have established, managed, and audited.
Turkish Cooperative Movement, which started with “Homeland Funds” in 1863 and “Benefit Funds” in 1883 before the Republic of Turkey was founded, continued its development in the Republican period with the Law No. 498 on "Agricultural Assocations" in 1924 and the Law No. 1470 on Agricultural Credit Cooperatives in 1929.
In 1935, with the enactment of the “Agricultural Credit Cooperatives Law” numbered 2836, the organization name of the “Agricultural Credit Cooperatives” and the reason for its existence were determined, and the actual developments occurred after this law. With this law, cooperatives were given such tasks as providing inexpensive production loans, agricultural inputs, tools and machinery to their members to organize, increase and value their products, and thereby improving their competitiveness at home and abroad.
Tekir Çiftliği Agricultural Credit Cooperative was established in Silifke in 1936. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder and number one member of this cooperative, both demonstrated his belief in cooperative movement and guided the application of modern agricultural techniques.
The Law No. 2836, which had been in force for a long time, but became insufficient over time, was replaced by the Law No. 1581 in 1972 due to evolving and changing needs.
The “Agricultural Credit Cooperatives and Unions Law” numbered 1581 enabled to establishment of regional unions and the central union and the ground for the vertical organization of the Agricultural Credit Cooperatives was prepared. Agricultural Credit Cooperatives, which had operated within the body of Ziraat Bank, became an autonomous farmer organization with the establishment of regional unions in 1975 and 1976, and the Central Union on May 17, 1977. Even though Ziraat Bank's administrative obligations ended, its duty as the financing bank has continued since then.
Agricultural Credit Cooperatives are managed by their members who are elected to form Boards of Directors, which is a cornerstone for cooperatives to have a more democratic structure.
With the Decree Law No. 237 enacted in 1984, significant amendments were made to the Law No. 1581 regarding the administrative and financial structure of Agricultural Credit Cooperatives.
This decree became the Law No. 3223 in 1985, according to which Agricultural Credit Cooperatives became a related institution of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the ministry was given the task of auditing Agricultural Credit Cooperatives.
With the Decree Law No. 553 issued in 1995, important changes were made in the administrative structure and the democratic structure envisaged in the Law No. 1581 was restored. According to this decree, all Boards of Directors in the Central Union, Regional Unions and Cooperatives would be formed with elections, presidents of the Boards would be elected among the board members, auditors in Regional Unions and Cooperatives would be elected, while the Central Union would have two elected auditors in additon to the two auditors appointed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Ziraat Bank.
Democratic and independent Agricultural Credit Cooperatives
The legal regulation of Agricultural Credit Cooperatives was finalized with the Law No. 553 on the Amendment of the Law on Agricultural Credit Cooperatives and Unions, and the adoption of the Decree Law No. 553 upon amendment, which came into force after they were published in the Official Gazette dated April 12, 2005. With these amendments;
» The Boards of Directors in the Central Union, Regional Unions and Cooperatives have gained a strong and democratic structure,
» The principle of cooperation among cooperatives was written in a legal regulation for the first time in our country,
» The way for Agricultural Cooperatives to become members of Agricultural Credit Cooperatives and Agricultural Credit Cooperatives to Agricultural Cooperatives was opened,
» Legal entities engaged in agricultural activities were allowed to become members of Agricultural Credit Cooperatives.
The law No 553 allowed all kinds of credit needs of Cooperatives, Regional Unions and the Central Union to be met not only by Ziraat Bank, but also by other domestic banks, financial or credit institutions. With this regulation, the duty of the auditor who served as representative of Ziraat Bank was terminated as Ziraat Bank was no longer the only credit lender for Agricultural Credit Cooperatives, and the legal structure of Agricultural Credit Cooperatives was finalized decreasing the number of the auditors to three, two of whom are elected and one is appointed to represent the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
Upon the establishment of Şanlıurfa Regional Union on April 6, 2017, Agricultural Credit Cooperatives has had its current organization structure consisting of 1 Central Union, 17 Regional Unions, 1622 Cooperatives and many Service Bureaus, and it renders service to Turkish farmers all over the country.