HOMETOWN, SCOPJEThe city, formerly known as up “Scupi”, which gained its new name after the conquest by the Ottoman Empire in 1392: Skopje The city, remaining under Ottoman rule for more than 500 years, becomes a part of the newly established Kingdom of Yugoslavia after the First World War. The harness maker Hüseyin Effendi and Ms. Düriye, who made harnesses and saddles made of leather in Skopje Bazaar, decides to emigrate from Skopje to Anatolia after the 93 War (1877-1878 Ottoman-Russian War). Skopje, with its structure at that time, resembles Bursa, so they migrate to this city where M. Kemal Coşkunöz will be born.
CHILDHOOD DURING MOBILIZATION YEARSMehmet Kemal Coşkunöz was born on August 25, 1921, during the hot days of the War of Independence. When the nation defends its homeland with patience and faith by shooting their wad, the rasp of poverty takes away the sweet sides of childhood. However, the poverty stimulates the determination of work and production for his country. At a very young age, he sets foot on the route he is dead set on in a very young age. From the age of seven, he continues both school and apprenticeship. He completes primary education at Professor İlyas Primary School.
DESIRE TO BE AN ARTISTCoşkunöz, who has many turning points in his life, loses his father when he is 12 years old. A decision he makes while continuing his education is the beginning of his story that will revolutionize the industry. With the desire to be an “artist”, he transfers from Bursa Male High School to Tophane Art School. They are the years where new iron and model workshops are opened and course tools are multiplied. This period can be considered as the first point that Coşkunöz realized what he could do in production.
MILITARY SERVICE YEARS IN EGYPTM. Kemal Coşkunöz graduates from Tophane Art School during World War II, when bread was rationed, and global military conflicts prevailed (1941).) After receiving education for one year at Yıldız Military Transportation School, he starts his military service as a regiment engineer at 101st Artillery Regiment in Çanakkale as a reserve officer. He attends a Tank Maintenance Course provided by the British in Egypt and becomes an “expert” with outstanding success. In 1942, he is assigned to the British Tank Assembly Plant to train tank specialists. The young people he starts to train during this period give him the opportunity to think about teaching. Returning to Turkey after 5 months, Coşkunöz continues his military service in Çanakkale for 3 years.
PROFESSOR KEMALCoşkunöz returns to his native city in 1946 and works as a trainee teacher for two years in high school. Starting from 1948, he starts to train technical students at Tophane Art School and Yeniyol Art Institute respectively. During the establishment of a second art institute, Demirtaş undertakes the task of transporting the necessary materials and educational tools to the new school. He continues to teach at the Demirtaş Art Institute, of which he is supported the establishment. Although he will resign as a teacher later, he will be known as Professor Kemal throughout his life.
STEP BY STEP TO INDUSTRIALISM“Professor Kemal" is a technical man who constantly seeks innovation. He makes the first marking machine by developing an apparatus that enables the “firm stamp” to be put on the fabric edges. In 1949, he establishes a workshop that manufactures knives and spoons for the first time with Süleyman Beltan and Recep Soyubol. In 1955, together with his two friends, Süleyman Beltan and Talat Diniz, he establishes SKT, carrying the initials of their names. SKT starts operations in Old Grain Dead End Street in Bursa to produce parts such as bus seats and glass frames required by the advanced vehicle body industry. The first oil seal and electric motor manufacturing takes place here in Turkey. SKT, with whom Professor Kemal left the partnership in the following years, continues to produce sealing parts for the automotive sector on an area of 20,000 square meters in Bursa Organized Industrial Zone.
BUILDING HE BUILT IS A SCHOOL FOR INDUSTRYAfter the 1960 Revolution, Professor Kemal founds his first atelier on his behalf. First of all, he takes the job of manufacturing bending doors, railings and frames made of profile of the building of Atatürk High School. For this work, he buys the Hamidiye Armored Battleship’s piece armours and makes a press machine. He completes the machine, which cannot be made in 29 days even with today’s conditions, by working too hard in 1962 winter. However, the effort to keep his promise causes him to lose his left hand as a result of a work accident during the machine’s construction. This event does not intimidate him, he continues the work of steel joinery from profile. As his industrialist friend İnan Kıraç said, the works he will do on behalf of the industry and his life dedicated to production will be a school from that time on.
TOWARDS THE AUTOMOTIVE CITY, BURSAProfessor Kemal makes a great contribution to the selection of Bursa by the automotive industry. He performs the first steel vehicle body production in Turkey, accepting İnan Kıraç’s offer in 1963 in his own atelier. This move of him having the characteristic of a revolution in Turkish and Bursa’s industry paves the way for transferring from wooden vehicle body to steel vehicle body. While one wooden body used in vehicles was being manufactured quarterly, he starts to manufacture two bodies in a day. Professor Kemal, with his passion for teaching, firstly trains the bodywork craftsmen in Bursa and then the masters from Anatolia in his atelier and makes this profession spread throughout the country. Now, one of the major industrialists of the period, Professor Kemal establishes KARSAN, one of the first major automotive investments in Turkey, with his friends. Investors of KARSAN include Has Holding, Koç Holding, Mengerler Holding and Talat Diniz.
GAIN TURNED INTO INVESTMENTHe makes the first hydraulic press manufacture in Turkey in 1965 and produces the first driver’s cab for FIAT 153 tow trucks in 1966. Professor Kemal, who is a non-prosperous innovator, although always respects the common values of the average life, takes serious steps in the industry in 1968. He carries out his production activities to Bursa Organized Industrial Zone and this step starts the period of institutional industrialization. In the future, high-capacity domestic production projects for the automotive main industry will be in succession. In 1969, with Türk Traktör and in 1973 Oyak Renault becoming his first customers, he produces moulds, presses, welding machines and body parts.
Coşkunöz becomes a joint stock company in 1973 and takes the name Coşkunöz Metal Form ve Makine Endüstri A.Ş. Professor Kemal transforms its earnings into investment by producing sheet metal parts, presses, welding machines and apparatus for the Turkish Automotive industry and defence industry as well as white goods. He gives great flexibility to Turkish automotive industry with its investments especially in mould and machine manufacturing.
THE IMPORTANCE OF INSTITUTIONALIZATIONProfessor Kemal, who has faced many difficulties throughout his life and who has sometimes won and sometimes lost his struggle, confidently steps up to success. He believes in the importance of institutionalization for the continuation of the same success.
Coşkunöz organizations are gathered under the roof of Coşkunöz Holding, established in 1976. Founded in 1985, Cem Taşımacılık becomes a part of the holding. In 1992, Coşkunöz Radyatör A.Ş. is established with its own panel radiator production line in the machinery factory. Coşkunöz Holding established with Professor Kemal's knowledge, expertise and work with perseverance, plays an important role in the development of Turkey and Bursa industry.
A LIFE DEDICATED TO EDUCATIONProfessor Kemal, known for his philanthropy, believed that every individual should take responsibility in solving social problems. In 1982, he joins the founding activities of Uludağ University Cancer Research and Treatment Foundation. Professor Kemal, who believes that education is the most important element in the development of the country, defines the contribution to the youth as a national service. Contribution to vocational and technical education is at the most important focus of his life. In this cause, he establishes Coşkunöz Educational Foundation in 1988 for the purpose of meeting the labour force need in order to eliminate the lack of vocational training he sees as one of modern Turkey’s largest need.
He offers the “Vocational Training Program” to young people who have completed their high school education which provides the opportunity to obtain Industrial Vocational School diploma and to work in industry at the end of a period of 18-month training through Coşkunöz Educational Foundation with the cooperation of the Ministry of National Education. This program has the characteristic of being the first and most important project of the foundation. Since 1988, hundreds of students have graduated from the program and found employment opportunities in the business world.
Coşkunöz Educational Foundation, which stands out as an exemplary organization in national and international platforms, provides scholarship support to many students while responding to the demands of professional technical education required by the private sector, public and society.
M. KEMAL COŞKUNÖZ VOCATIONAL AND TECHNICAL HIGH SCHOOLM. Kemal Coşkunöz Vocational and Technical Anatolian High School, built by Coşkunöz Education Foundation on a 21-acre land in Nilüfer district of Bursa, opens to education in 1997 with its 840-student capacity, modern classrooms, laboratories, workshops, sports hall and foreign language education. Professor Kemal does not hesitate to spend his personal accumulation in charity. He provides help to M. Kemal Coşkunöz Gastroenterology Research and Treatment Clinic, which was opened in 2000, Uludag University, Tophane Vocational and Technical Anatolian High School and Contemporary Education Cooperative. He continues to work for the Bursa industry and is one of the founders of BUSİAD.
HIS EMPLOYEES WAS ALWAYS HIS FAMILYProfessor Kemal is known for his humility, business discipline and uncompromising work pace. Profitability is never the first goal. His primary objective is to create employment through investments and to serve the development of society. He attaches great importance to raising qualified workforce in order to contribute to his country. He was the first employer to sign a contract with the Turkish Metal Industry Union in Bursa in 1976, and his value to the employees is always a distinction.
MACHINES ARE THE SOURCE OF HIS HAPPINESSWith the pleasure of producing, Professor Kemal puts his arm behind his back while the parts are pressed against the press machine. His pride and happiness were read from his eyes.
“THE REASON TO COME TO THIS LEVEL IS TO REALIZE THE PROMISE THAT WE HAVE GIVEN”Professor Kemal passed away on October 12, 2000, leaving behind a life of 79 years “Dedicated to Education and Production”.
Coşkunöz Education Foundation, one of the biggest projects of life, continues to grow and serve the country as he desired on solid foundations laid by him. Providing job opportunities and export to five continents with dozens of companies, thousands of people and contributing to Turkey's economy, Coşkunöz Holding is the most important work he has left the field of industry.