WE TALKED WITH HÜSEYIN ŞEHITOĞLU, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF THE FIRM DELTA MARBLE WHICH HAS BEEN OPERATING IN THE MARBLE INDUSTRY FOR A TIME PERIOD CLOSE TO 20 YEARS, ON THE SITUATION THE NATURAL STONE INDUSTRY FINDS ITSELF IN AND THE NEW INVESTMENT PROJECTS IN ISTANBUL BY THE FIRM.
You have two showrooms in Istanbul although you are an Afyon based firm. You are about to open a third one. What is your perspective on the natural stone industry in the domestic market and especially in Istanbul? For me, Istanbul market is of a size which is not smaller than the capital and known cities of developed countries. Istanbul is a very important city in terms of both its vitality and also the civilizations it accommodates. Istanbul should be reviewed extremely carefully, very well designed and very carefully planned and processed by the construction industry. Today, the eye of the world architecture is in Turkey. The natural stone industry should offer the end consumer of Istanbul, just like in Italy or Britain, the best processed marbles and travertines, with the power of design. Hence, we oriented our direction to Istanbul with our investments, warehouses and showrooms. This transformation is not something that was done overnight. We have been planning this target for 10 years and accomplishing it step by step. How do you see the domestic market situation of the marble industry today? I believe that opportunities for natural stone will increase progressively among building materials in the domestic market. Because the consumer is now better aware. If we can take natural stone products to the consumer by serious projects and correctly, we see that they do not wish to use imitation ware. The consumer does not want to use artificial materials as much as possible. In the meantime, the installation technology and quality in Turkey is growing. Architectural understanding is developing. Therefore, natural stone applications are received much better in the marketplace. How do you see the future of the natural stone industry in terms of the domestic market? This industry figured out that you can go nowhere just by factory production in the natural stone industry. Even a small family does not decide on decoration or alteration in a home without getting architectural support. Therefore, I think that we will take sure steps towards becoming a brand if we support our industry in architectural projects by the power of design. Now, robot technologies stone processing, water jest stone cutting, column and massive applications can be done in marble factories all over Turkey. These, for me, are very important signs showing the point reached by the industry and the future brand recognition. In the future, firms with strong brand power and design power will survive. I believe that Turkish marble trade will get stronger. Bülent Tatlıcan