Barış Soydan, CEO of EKMAS Investment, one of the companies of EKMAS Group, which is the name sponsor of Galatasaray men’s basketball team, explained the tips of the right land investment, his projects and his private life for Gentleman readers.
EKMAS Investment is a brand operating in the fields of real estate investment and project development, tourism, technology, media and social responsibility. Barış Soydan is the CEO of EKMAS Yatırım, one of the EKMAS Group Companies, which is also the name sponsor of the Galatasaray Men’s Basketball team. We had a pleasant conversation with Soydan about the right land investment, EKMAS‘s projects and hobbies.
Gentleman: Mr. Barış, first of all, we would like to get to know you a little better. Could you tell us about yourself?
Barış Soydan: I was born in Gümüşhane in 1974, as the youngest of three sons of a teacher father and a housewife mother. We moved to Istanbul when I was 6 years old. I have been doing buying, selling and project development in the field of real estate for 32 years.
G: When did you meet the EKMAS Family, how long have you been within the group?
B.S: We met through our mutual friends about 1.5 years ago. We have been working together for about 1 year.
G: EKMAS Investment is a brand that takes its roots from EKMAS Group, which has been operating in the sector for 35 years. Could you tell us about the story of the brand?
B.S: The story of Rafet Ekmekçioğlu, the founder of our group, and EKMAS are intertwined. Mr. Rafet, who founded the Yıldız Fire company after graduating from Gazi University, Department of Metallurgy, one of Turkey’s well-established universities, in 1983, has managed to become one of the leading industrialists not only in Turkey but also in the world, in this journey that continues today with A Fire Systems. Thanks to Rafet Ekmekçioğlu, who paved the way for us with his vision and diligence, EKMAS has created a holistic identity and become one of the few group companies in our country. As the CEO of EKMAS Investment, Mr. Rafet has a very meaningful saying that resonates in my ears. “We have been investing in people for 40 years.” Being aware that investment in people permeates society, we attach importance to investing in people first in every business that comes to life in our hands.
G: In which areas does EKMAS Investment operate?
B.S: As EKMAS Investment, we operate in the fields of real estate investment and project development, tourism, technology, media and social responsibility.
G: The increase in construction costs has made it very difficult for middle and lower income groups to buy housing. Of course, headlines such as foreign exchange and credibility are also effective in this. For this reason, we see an increasing interest in land investments. How profitable an investment tool is land?
B.S: Yes, we are living in a period where purchasing power decreases and costs increase, and it seems that this situation will continue for another period. You asked how profitable it is for land investment. In fact, it is a form of investment that is not only profitable but also safe. I think it is wrong to classify it only as an investment tool. Because land is a way of life that opens the doors to a new life and shows that a stress-free life in a natural environment is possible, especially for a person residing in the city. Land investment has proven to be the most profitable investment not only in this period but in every period. After all, you are buying land, not a product to be made in a factory or money to be reprinted in a printing house. Investment products that cannot be increased or multiplied and at the same time contain necessities have always been very profitable. The most important of these is land investment. I have an observation about land investment. Just as there are thousands of years of experience and experience behind the simplest proverbs, land investment has been tried and tested for decades and there is no such thing as losing land.
G: So how to choose the right land?
B.S: The right land equals the right location. The issue of where a land is located is very important and a first priority. To make a list; We can say that it is the right place – zoned land – the right company – the right price.
G: What projects do you have on the Land project development side?
B.S: We have two projects in Dikili, Izmir, and one of them offers the privilege of condominium title deed. Our Assos, Ezine, Biga, Sapanca and Beypazarı projects are on active sale. In our Sapanca project, we provide condominium title deeds in the same way. The Sapanca project, whose house construction was also undertaken by EKMAS Yapı, has been one of our most remarkable projects.
G: We would also like to ask about your current and upcoming projects.
B.S: Our projects, which are all very well located in terms of their locations, continue to be sold with affordable payment terms in the regions listed above. The projects we have developed on our lands, which are mainly by the sea in Dikili and the Aegean Region in general, will be offered for sale soon. Our advantage here is that we offer different options with payment terms that suit the needs of our customers who want to invest and appeal to every budget.
G: EKMAS, you became the name sponsor of Galatasaray Men’s Basketball team. How did this collaboration develop?
B.S: Our support in the field of sports is not the first. Our chairman of the board, Mr. Özgür Ekmekçioğlu, was the president of Altay Sports Club for five seasons, and Altay Sports Club, which won three championships during his presidency, was promoted to the Super League. Now, with this collaboration with Galatasaray Sports Club, we continue to stand by sports and athletes. By joining forces, Aslan Claw and EKMAS will make Turkish sports more talked about in the international community.
G: Let’s call it a hobby, what do you do in your spare time?
B.S: What I do in my free time and how I use this process is very valuable to me. After the time I spend with my work, family and friends, this remaining time is generally very limited. I like to use this limited time by reading an article on a subject I am curious about, cycling, doing indoor sports, and going on short trips.
G: How are you with eating, drinking and traveling? Which routes do you like?
B.S: I have been working hard on this issue for the last 10 years. After all, every person is an equation, and in equations, everyone looks to the right of the equal to see what the result is. I look at what comes into the equation, the left side is very important. Eating healthy is not an option but a necessity. I am very clear about eating and drinking, I believe that consuming less and healthy food keeps the body more vigorous. As for traveling, I feel very embarrassed here. Yes, I have visited many places over the years, especially in the Aegean and Mediterranean Regions, and one of my favorite routes is the Aegean and Mediterranean Regions, which are suitable for nature walks and climbing. The reason for my embarrassment is that I have never seen or quickly passed by hundreds of regions of our country with magnificent history and nature. This country is one of the most wonderful places in our country and in the galaxy, we can call this geography a living mound. But how many of us have traveled our own country to its fullest…
G: Do you have an interest in collecting?
B.S: Unfortunately, I could not spare time for collecting in my busy working environment. But as someone who loves what he does, I am, as my wife calls it, a land lover. If there was a collection from the land, I could say that we have a small collection.
G: Finally, let’s end our conversation by asking about your favorite brands in clothing and watches.
B.S: Thanks to my elder brother Savaş Bey, he was very supportive in this regard. After all, it is not possible to just say that it is too expensive or that I will wear this brand. Here, it is important to both follow the current fashion and wear what suits you. I have most of my clothes tailored. The reason for this is that when you look at branded clothes today, there is a very small difference, but the cost is the same when you have them tailored for you. Considering the price and performance, having it sewn is more advantageous and stylish. Unfortunately, when you stay in business for too long, you become obsessed with everything. As for shoe brands, I can say that my favorites are Tod’s, Santoni and Premiata. The clock issue is also quite interesting. Almost everyone who is financially able has a Rolex. So it seems like this is a requirement. As someone who has rejected ordinary jobs throughout his life, I am not included in this caravan. Yes, I have branded watches, but they just sit aside. I wear an Apple Watch. Again, isn’t it focused on performance and usefulness? Let this be my shortcoming, unfortunately I cannot change myself in this regard.