Considered as the unforgettable and essential leader of our maritime community, Mr. M. Ziya KALKAVAN was born in 1911 in Village Kalkavan of Iyidere, a sub- district of the city of Rize. Spending his youth with the challenges of living conditions of the region, he moved to Iskenderun in 1949 and settled. In addition to being a shipowner, he engaged in ship operating and Agency activities.
He moved to Istanbul in 1955 and took his brothers Fevzi and Halis KALKAVAN with him, relocated the headquarters of M. Ziya KALKAVAN Collective Company to Istanbul and Iskenderun remained as a branch office, and continued his operations in the field of ship line operation in Karakoy Mocan Han. Later on, he incorporated Kalkavan Denizcilik ve Ticaret ( “Kalkavan Shipping and Trade” ) in 1972 with same partners. He remained in the foreground in maritime community with his courage and positive breakthroughs he demonstrated in his career, and achieved the leadership position. The social activities took up always full of active and unforgettable beautiful memories in the life of M. Ziya Kalkavan.
Took the Chair of Turkish Shipowners’ Association in 1956 and acted as a member of S. S. Motor Vehicles Cooperative of Turkish Shipowners, a subsidiary of the Association simultaneously, remained as the chairperson for life and participated in active works.
Acted as the Chairman of the football team Besiktas Jimnastik Kulubu for two terms in 1959 and 1965. He was a member of Camlica Kulubu, Sipahi Ocagi Kulubu, Buyuk Kulup, and Anadolu Kulubu.
He was among the founders of Rize Cultural and Social Solidarity Foundation and assumed the first chairperson position. He assumed the position of Chairperson of Istanbul Chamber of Commerce Maritime Professional Commission.
Involved in Turkish Chamber of Shipping Constituent Assembly in 1982.
Elected as the Chairperson of Turkish Chamber of Shipping in 1984 and fulfilled this duty for life.
Assumed the General Assembly Chairperson of Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges ( TOBB) during May 1988- May 1989 period.
M. Ziya KALKAVAN passed on June 9th, 1992. For the first time in our country, a civil person was put the eternal rest with a funeral held at the Chamber of Shipping accompanied with Turkish Land Forces Band as a debt of gratitude for his services for maritime.
Maritime Anatolian High School, located in Ortakoy, was named " ZİYA KALKAVAN" posthumously in 1992 during the term of Mr. Köksal TOPTAN as the Minister of National Education. As a strong nationalist leader with determined and dominative character, he was a model for future generations and left messages.
He was indisputably a big fan of Rize, his hometown. He acknowledged helping his hometown, friends and neighbours as a duty throughout his entire lifetime.
Although he had an extremely broad circle, he never leaned towards politics with an intention to be in the forefront. He shares his troubles with people having positive and appropriate opinions in line with the interests of the country and tried to assist them.
His biggest purpose was to form the Ministry of Maritime Affairs in Turkey. However, firstly a close friend of Prime Minister and then 9th President Of The Republic Mr. Süleyman Demirel, despite receiving positive responses occasionally from leaders and senior officials, this desire could not be realized. He continued to pour out his troubles related to this yearning even in his last days and gave advices to be a model for future generations.
As the representative of maritime, we will never forget M. Ziya KALKAVAN.
A bust of the deceased stands in the yard of Rize Cultural and Social Solidarity Foundation’ s lounge located in Buyukdere and the following verses of Ziya KALKAVAN’ s close friend Mr. ADİL GÖKSU, who has experienced the Ziya KALKAVAN era with all the details, written under the bust intended for getting to know a person, stand out.
All of his work will be kept alive with all opportunities and the Maritime Community will always be grateful to him!