EGEKAF 24, Hosted by PAU, Starts with an Enthusiastic Opening Ceremony


The Aegean Career Fair (EGEKAF), which was organized on 21-22 February 2024 under the coordination of the Presidential Human Resources Office, hosted by Pamukkale University and with the participation of stakeholder universities, started with the opening ceremony held at Denizli Metropolitan Municipality Nihat Zeybekci Congress and Culture Center with the participation of the state protocol and provincial protocol.

The program continued with a moment of silence and the reading of the National Anthem, followed by a dance performance by the Pamukkale University Folk Dance Team. The program continued with a video presentation titled 'How We Prepared for EGEKAF 24', opening speeches and the presentation of certificates of appreciation. At the end of the program, the symposium speech titled 'National Consciousness and Fight against Terrorism' by Hulusi Akar, Chairman of the National Defense Commission of the Turkish Parliament and Former Minister of National Defense, and the closing of the program was held.

Pamukkale University Rector Prof. Dr. Ahmet Kutluhan made the first of the protocol speeches.

Rector Kutluhan: "Career fairs are actually revolutionary events that shape our future for both our country and our youth."

Rector Prof. Dr. Ahmet Kutluhan noted the following in his speech: "Aegean Career Fair is one of the 11 regional fairs coordinated by the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey. This fair, which was held in Izmir 3 times before, was decided to be held in Denizli for the fourth time by the Presidential Human Resources Office with the efforts of our university and Denizli, public and private sectors. I would like to thank Mr. President again on behalf of my university and Denizli. Career fairs are actually revolutionary events that shape our future for both our country and our youth. It is the way to catch more quality, more beautiful, as well as the way to catch better workplaces. 

The number of participating companies and students reveals how much the need for such a career fair is for Denizli, which ranks in the top 10 in our country's industry, production and exports. This fair was actually planned for 2023. However, it was postponed to this year due to the Kahramanmaraş earthquakes, the disaster of the century, which saddened us all. Of course, our sadness is great, we have lost more than 50 thousand citizens. However, what makes our sadness even greater is that the students studying in our universities who we lost in the earthquake are not among us. I wish God's mercy to all our citizens who died in the earthquake. The purpose of career fairs is to discover the talent of the youth and to ensure that they are more successful in the future. These fairs are not only places where professional careers are explained, but also areas that guide the personal and social development of our youth. On this occasion, we are offered the opportunity to come together with the leading successful people of our country who contribute to our fair, to meet and chat with them. Our career fair has three main themes: "Sustainability, Digitalization and Environment". All topics and activities are based on these themes. Therefore, these themes will have a great contribution in understanding the changing world and preparing our young people for the conditions of the future. 

In addition, this beautiful congress center offered by our metropolitan municipality and the fact that our career fair is barrier-free has been a source of pride for Denizli. Distinguished guests, The mission of our university is a producing university. Its vision is that the university is the guide of life. Its aim is to integrate with the city. The best example of integration with the city is this fair. The presence of valuable academic and administrative staff of our university as well as valuable representatives of the private sector and non-governmental organizations in the organizing committee of EGEKAF24 has played a major role in the emergence of this magnificent fair. In addition, while expressing our gratitude to our esteemed metropolitan mayor Mr. Osman Zolan for allocating this magnificent congress center to us and to the Organized Industrial Zone management for their great support, to all our sponsors and participating institutions, companies and non-governmental organizations, I would also like to express my heartfelt thanks to our dear students and graduates for their intense participation in our fair. I hope that our fair will bring goodness first to our region and then to our country and humanity."

Mayor of Denizli Metropolitan Municipality Zolan: "The main thing here is to meet those who demand employment and those who will give employment."

Mayor of Denizli Metropolitan Municipality Osman Zolan stated the following in his speech "Youth is very precious. Youth means treasure. Youth means dreaming and running to new goals. Therefore, increasing the first moments and equipment of our youth means removing the obstacles in order to realize those dreams. At this point, it is very valuable to organize these career fairs. This event, which started in 2019 under the auspices of our President and the Presidency of the Human Resources Office, and of course with the support of many layers of cities, has come to this day. Each time it has been held, it has brought very good pluses and values. The main thing here is to meet those who demand employment and those who will provide employment. It is the meeting of those who are looking for the best quality and the best job at the point of work and staff, at the point of personnel and the best quality and the best job. At this point and of course, with the social activities, trainings and presentations to be held here, it means that our youth and everyone here will increase their equipment. Therefore, I attach great importance to this event and we have made many efforts to organize it in our city. We are here today with the efforts of our Rector and the support of all of us. I would like to thank the Head of the Presidential Human Resources Office very much for choosing Denizli, I hope there will be no problem and we want it to continue, Mr. President. Denizli is a producing city, Denizli is a hard-working city, Denizli is a city that produces more than it consumes, sells more than it buys, and has a surplus in foreign trade. Although it ranks twenty-second in population, it is the city that ranks 8th in exports. For this reason, Denizli is the city that produces at the highest levels in industry, tourism and agriculture. When we brought together young people with this production quality and our hard-working people, we talked about better quality, more and more efficient production opportunities. Of course, we have more goals. We want to do better things and strive to take our country forward. We have come to this day with the efforts and support of all the participants here. I hope to run together with a bigger and better goal. Of course, qualified youth is very important, we said that youth is a treasure, youth is strength, it is very important, but youth must also be qualified. Births must increase, and today the balance in terms of supply and demand and labor force must be established at the highest level. That's why this fair is very valuable to us. Thank you very much to everyone who is here. I would like to thank everyone who contributed. I hope it will be successful. I offer my respects to all of you, thank you.”

Head of the Presidential Human Resources Office Assoc. Dr. Atay: “When the Presidential Human Resources Office was opened, with the approval of our President, we accepted that every citizen and every young person living in the Republic of Turkey has talent and we planned all our projects accordingly.”

Presidential Human Resources Office Assoc. Dr. Salim Atay said the following in his speech: “As the Presidential Human Resources Office, I would like to summarize in a few sentences how we approached the issue and give a few statistical figures. You see something in the corner of that screen, there is a concept called 'talent is everywhere'. That expression, that slogan was not written there for this fair. When this office was opened, with the approval of our President, we accepted that every citizen and every young person living in the Republic of Turkey has talent, and we planned and matured all our projects accordingly. In fact, what we do has an equivalent in the world. Although in developed economies, the way these big companies and international companies go is to find and discover the most talented people in the countries they visit and benefit from them for their own investments, we believed that we could apply this modern advanced approach to every individual in our country and we set out this way. The name of this system is 'Talent Management', friends, and we represent a mentality that sees each person as a talent rather than seeing people as human resources. What we are doing here right now is not a career fair, my esteemed deputy just said why not. We do not do anything that will put you in trouble here. Everything is digital, there are 171 events to be held here. There will be interviews, workshops and recruitment interviews in two days. There are hundreds of companies inside. What is very pleasing is that a significant portion of these companies are local. Of course, this is not a well-known organization where national and international companies come here just to polish their brands.

It is an organization where supply and demand meet and can establish direct contact. Moreover, as far as I have heard, we are doing this job in the largest complex in the Aegean Region and we do not have the space to accommodate many companies right now, friends. We are faced with such great interest and as I mentioned, this is not just a career fair because many different tools and instruments work for it before and after. Today, there are hundreds of companies and thousands of young people here, the number of students who have entered the hall so far has exceeded 6 thousand. The number of registered students is around 47 thousand. Yes, how do we know these? All of these are followed through digital platforms. Since we can create an atmosphere exactly as young people want and desire, we call this system 'Early Career Awareness Ecosystem'. What does this mean? Apart from the fair, what else does it do here? For example, we have a talent gate. Currently, the number of students or graduates registered in the system has reached 2 million and has become the second largest product in its field in the world. Students from more than two thousand seven hundred universities around the world came and registered in our system. Turkey is rapidly becoming the center of the world, not only with its geography, not only with its sea, sun, figs and grapes, but also with its technology, but also with its qualified human talent, which concerns us, and you are the generation that will see these days. Turkish people are becoming the most indispensable managers in companies doing the highest value-added work all over the world, and we follow them. If you ask how you know these, we have organized 13 different organizations in 9 countries so far in international organizations similar to the regional career fairs we hold here. We established this ecosystem of early career opportunities by keeping our finger on the pulse of all of them, by being in contact with the Turks, investors and entrepreneurs there, and by offering equal opportunities to each of our citizens both at home and abroad. So far, when we held the first regional career fair in 2019, we have been able to reach 70,320 students. This number is heading towards the target of 5000 in 2024. Hopefully, we have 3 more organizations ahead of us. When we complete them, we will have direct physical contact with 5000 young people through these fairs. What else is in the early career opportunity ecosystem? We have a national internship program. We started the national internship program in 2020 Covid year, and as you know, in some branches at that time, graduation was not possible without doing an internship. We started an internship mobilization, especially in the field of engineering, because children could not find the opportunity to do an internship during the Covid period. Therefore, they could have problems with their graduation. Its name is 'Internship Mobilization'. I will give the figures for the 15 universities I mentioned in 2020. There were 1777 applications from 15 universities. Of course, they also know that our sphere of influence is still very new. In our first pilot application, we had 456 students do internships in the public and private sectors. As a result, I would like to thank the Rector of Pamukkale University, who wholeheartedly wanted it to be held here, and which we see today being successfully realized. “I would like to thank our partner universities in the same way.”

For detailed information about EGEKAF24:

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