Mehmet Zorlu, who laid the foundations of our group, was born in 1919 in the Babadağ county of Denizli which is famous for a particular type of locally woven cloth. After finishing middle school, he took up the family profession of weaving in Babadağ where textiles had been the only means of subsistence for centuries.
Like the other babadağ community, whose lives were spent weaving fabrics, Mehmet Zorlu and his wife Saide seldom took time off from the loom that barely fit inside their home.
Their sons Zeki and Ahmet were the greatest helpers of their father during their childhood years in the 1950s.
The incessant sound of the household loom, which practically kept running non-stop as mother and father took turns operating it night and day, was the backdrop to the childhood memories of both brothers. Playing with balls of thread at 4 or 5, the two brothers became masterful weavers by their primary school years.
The foundations of Zorlu Holding, one of the largest holdings in Turkey today, were laid by Mehmet Zorlu in that small house. Textile manufacturing grew to include trade as the Yükselen Unlimited Company was founded in Babadağ in 1953, laying the foundations of today’s Zorlu Holding.
Firmly adopting honesty and quality as guiding principles in commerce, Mehmet Zorlu and his brother toured Anatolia, selling bed sheets produced by other manufacturers in their hometown alongside their own. The store opened in Trabzon years later at the behest of Ahmet Zorlu, became the second turning point in the family’s business life.
Having learnt the ins and outs of trade from their father as they did with weaving,
Zorlu brothers note, “We owe all we know about life to our father.”