As the domestic policy of the Ottoman Empire, “Chamber of Commerce” was established in 1885 in İzmir, the trade city of the centuries. This establishment was first beneficial for the tradesmen. However, it could not be active in long wars and occupation period. Positive works increased in Republic period. İzmir Chamber of Commerce strengthened its long-standing structure and became the leading non-governmental organization of Turkey. For now, it has 55 thousand active 85 thousand inactive members. İzmir Chamber of Commerce has always been the symbol of innovations and changes since İzmir Economics Congress in 1923 in which Atatürk was also present. İzmir Chamber of Commerce which has always increased its incomes for over a century has established “İzmir Chamber of Commerce Foundation for Encouragement of Social Assistance” with the leadership of Ekrem Demirtaş in 1988. Among its aims was “opening private universities in order to educate the young people to serve for the economics of the country.” The basis of this aim was the item in 1923 İzmir Economics Congress which said “Schools for economics education should be established, executed and supported by the chambers of commerce in big cities that are trade centers.” The Foundation that survives with the support of the benefactors in İzmir has supported many students by opening primary school buildings, İzmir Chamber of Commerce Foundation Industry Vocational High School and vocational courses. The Foundation that also serves in health sector has established İzmir Chamber of Commerce Süleyman Taştekin Eşrefpaşa Clinic. However, the foundation university that İzmir was looking forward could be established in 2001. The support of İzmir Chamber of Commerce and Foundation has the biggest role in the success of İzmir University of Economics from the very first academic year to today. After the establishment of the first foundation university Bilkent in Ankara in accordance with the 130th item of the Constitution, in February 15, 1990 İzmir Chamber of Commerce Foundation for Encouragement of Social Assistance President Ekrem Demirtaş said “We will establish a university with foreign medium of education.” Because with the amendments in Higher Education Law numbered 2547 the Regulations of Higher Education Institutions that came into effect by being published in the official gazette dated April 10, 1991 and numbered 20841 let establishing a foundation university. Hereupon, Ekrem Demirtaş, the chairman of the board of directors of the foundation that changed its name into İzmir Chamber of Commerce Health and Education Foundation” announced that they would establish an economics university in November 17, 1999. After that, bureaucratic and legal procedures began. The works became more intensive when İzmir Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors fully supported the Founder Board of Directors. However, there was a problem, the place to establish the university could not be found. In the meantime, in the meeting of Privatization High Commission dated November 14, 2000 numbered 2000/83it was decided to establish İzmir University of Economics in Sümer Conglomerate area with 160 000 m² in Halkapınar which was losing money. This decision was precluded by the bureaucrats in İzmir, the trade unions, Law on the Protection of Natural Heritage, Chamber of Architects and some political party members. The Nazilli Chintz Factory which was in the same decision was assigned to Adnan Menderes University without problem. The founders worked day and night, looked for alternative places and the University was established officially with 2 faculties, 5 vocational schools, and 2 institutes with the Law numbered 4633 published in official gazette numbered 24373 dated April 14, 2001. The date that the legislation was enacted is being celebrated as the foundation date of the university. Meanwhile, after some researchers with the proposal of Metropolitan Mayor Ahmet Piriştina the university was decided to be established on July 01, 2001 in Grand Plaza hotel which was abandoned for nine years. The bureaucratic procedures and hard amendment works against time were completed. There were 288 students in the first year in the conference hall, classes, office rooms, restaurant, cafeterias, student dormitory and main building that was completed in three months. With the beginning of the courses on Monday, October 22, 2001 and the official opening ceremony on Friday, October 26, 2001 9th President of Republic Süleyman Demirel gave the first lesson.
The Mission of the İzmir University of Economics is to educate and equip qualified students with leadership attributes, entrepreneurial capabilities, critical thinking skills and the ability to contribute valuable research in a variety of sciences.
The Vision of the İzmir University of Economics is to become a pre-eminent institution of higher learning at the forefront of education on a universal level and to pioneer valuable research in a variety of disciplines.
The Basic Values of the Institution
- Participation; the fostering of an academic environment which is universal, flexible, pluralist, transparent and open to collaboration.
- Innovation; to take part in interdisciplinary research and development activities, which are effective, creative and on the leading edge of new discoveries,
- Social Responsibility; to be responsible within the community by effectively managing its social resources in the production and dissemination of universal knowledge,
- Perfectionism; to consistently focus on the best possible outcome in every activity.