News & views > Family values at the heart of Ciner Group

18 July 2023

Global news Turkey Wales

Family values at the heart of Ciner Group

Family values at the heart of Ciner Group

The Ciner family have built an impressive business empire over the past 40 years, owning several industrial businesses and media outlets in Turkey under WE Soda’s parent company Ciner Group.

Established in 1978 by Mr Turgay Ciner, who started his career as an apprentice in tea shops, Ciner Group is now one of Turkey’s largest groups, operating across energy, media, and commerce. Today many of the Group’s business operations are overseen by Turgay’s wife, Mrs Didem Ciner. A graduate of the London School of Economics and with a career spanning over two decades, Mrs Ciner sits as President of CiNER Glass, Ciner Media and Chair of We Soda.

With a proud history of ensuring their projects contribute to the economic, social and cultural development of Turkey, the Ciner family are passionate about spreading prosperity in areas in need of investment. The fast-growing company now has plans to make significant investments in the UK and Europe, with the hope that the global expansion of its business operations will have a broader impact in supporting economic regeneration and social development in the areas in which they operate.

A driver of many of the Group’s business decisions, these values are closely tied to the personal as well as corporate philanthropy of the Ciner family. This is evident in Blaenau Gwent, South Wales, where the company is progressing with plans to bring a glass bottle manufacturing facility to the area. The county of Blaenau Gwent has long suffered from high levels of deprivation and a lack of employment opportunities, and the site in the small industrial town of Ebbw Vale was selected by the Ciner’s with the hope that its investment would act as a catalyst for economic regeneration in the region.

As a mother to two young children, providing young people with opportunities for both personal and career development has long-embodied Didem Ciner’s approach to business and investment. In particular, she has a strong track record of investing in early years, Further and Higher Education, and grassroots sports.

Mrs Ciner has been focused on ensuring the Ciner Glass project in South Wales provides access to new opportunities for people in the community.

The promise of skills, training and employment opportunities is a huge part of this. Mrs Ciner has already paid visits to local colleges to speak directly with students and teachers about the company’s plans for the area. She hopes to fund educational trips for groups of students to visit the company’s factory in Turkey to gain real world experience and cultivate young people’s interest in a sustainable sector which promises significant career development opportunities.

On a wider community level, Mrs Ciner has been proud to oversee the sponsorship of the town’s local rugby club, Ebbw Vale RFC, signing a three-year deal as the club’s official sponsor. The sponsorship saw the company significantly increase its annual investment in the club’s first team, junior academy and rugby stadium itself. A hub for many families in the local area, the investment in the Club is a personal commitment from Mrs Ciner to the future of the town.

Nationally, Didem Ciner has been pleased to be involved in We Soda’s community partnership with the Welsh Rugby Union, supporting various community initiatives for some of the most underrepresented groups in Wales. The partnership has proven to be the perfect fit for Mrs Ciner on both a personal and business level, with the “Fit, Fed, Fun” and “Jersey for All” initiatives supporting diversity and inclusion, as well as the health and well-being of young people in some of the country’s most deprived areas through grassroots sport and education.

As the Ciner Group progresses its projects across the UK and further afield, it is these values that will be at the heart of the company’s decision making.