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Open-source software shift to curb dependency on foreign technology

Türkiye has completed and published an open-source software report as an outcome document of a workshop organized late last year after the country announced a decree aimed at widespread integration of open-source software at public institutions.

The decree on the “Use of Open-Source Software in Public Institutions” was published in the Official Gazette in late July and proliferates the use of open-source software, leading to significant cost savings in information technology expenditures, diminishing reliance on external software vendors, and enhancement of national cybersecurity.

The decree was followed by the “Open-Source Software Sector Workshop,” organized by the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Türkiye (TOBB) Software Council in October in cooperation with the Presidency’s Digital Transformation Office, which is overseeing the transition process and coordination between institutions.

The transition ultimately aims at boosting Türkiye’s competitive edge and prioritizes the replacement of commercially licensed software widely used in relevant fields with open-source alternatives due to comparatively high license costs. The shift is expected to notably decrease external dependencies.

Contribution to employment

The workshop set forth initiatives to reduce external dependence in software, identify collaboration areas with public institutions, ensure compatibility, and support the restructuring of the open-source software ecosystem. It is intended to facilitate the development and expansion of the local software industry, create new employment opportunities for software developers and substantially contribute to the sector’s exports.

With the participation of the Digital Transformation Office, government institutions, industry firms, nongovernmental organizations, university academics and experts in information technology law, the “Open-Source Software Sector Workshop” provided a platform for public sector representatives to share their experiences, challenges and expectations regarding the current state of open-source software usage.

Entrepreneurial support

The workshop’s comprehensive report, categorized under four main themes – Opportunities and Sustainability, Ecosystem, Transition Process, and Maturity and Competence – assesses the current state of open-source software usage in public institutions, the transition process, proliferation of usage, incentives, potential enhancement, the current state of the sector, road maps, opportunities, threats and public expectations. The widespread use of open-source software promises lower acquisition costs, greater flexibility and increased reliability.

Addressing external dependency

Ertan Barut, head of the TOBB Software Council, said the transition to open-source code is not a process aimed at excluding other software companies contributing to the development of the domestic software industry, which invests in Türkiye and provides employment.

“It is a process aimed at reducing our external dependence, prioritizing the interests of our country. We must protect the current state and investments of our local software,” said Barut.

“We will make the necessary efforts within public institutions to ensure that our domestic software products, whose source code is not disclosed, are not treated like foreign software. As the TOBB Türkiye Software Council, we are conducting preparations to support the designation of open-source software components as domestic in the efforts we carry out with the Ministry of Industry and Technology and the Directorate General for National Technology regarding the use of domestic products in software, thereby supporting the development of domestic products with open-source software.”

Monay: Pioneering financial wellbeing journey

In a world increasingly dominated by consumerism, the most crucial issue is people drifting away from their genuine needs and being deprived of financial literacy.

Making informed decisions in areas such as income, savings, investment and debt management is becoming crucial for people to confidently face the future and enhance their quality of life.

Addressing this challenge is Monay, aptly described as a “financial companion” that compiles and improves our relationship with money, particularly addressing spending habits that become increasingly significant in the escalating inflationary environment.

At this point, the journey toward financial well-being comes to mind, rapidly spreading worldwide as a trend aiming for individuals to effectively manage their financial situations and enhance their prosperity.

Monay, recognized as a pioneer of the financial well-being journey, dubbed among the 2024 trends by two reputable financial institutions, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs, enables users to inquire through the application at every stage.

It contributes to financial literacy and awareness and its approach toward financial well-being positions it as a significant player in the changing landscape of personal finance, with its innovative features and commitment to empowering users to make informed and responsible financial decisions.

Monay is a constant companion, reminding users of their goals, facilitating their life and saving them from unnecessary expenses. It achieves this by employing Nobel Prize-winning scientific methods and behavioral change methodologies.

Economic gains

The initiative aims to make the journey to financial well-being accessible to everyone through an experience beyond traditional banking, offering users psychological and economic gains in money management to cope with issues like financial stress and the cost of living.

Özlem Denizmen, founder of Monay, emphasized their goal to be the creator of the financial wellbeing category in Türkiye.

“Monay application, the result of four years of research and development, combines its innovative technological infrastructure with the strength of the business ecosystem,” said Denizmen.

“In my speeches covering financial literacy, inclusivity, access and behavioral sciences, there’s a sentence I always emphasize: ‘Those who manage their money, manage their lives.’ From this perspective, it’s possible to say that there are many aspects left uncovered in the management of personal financial processes.”

1 million user target

Monay not only offers personalized financial management applications but also provides users with a unique experience through behavioral economics-based features, Denizmen noted.

“In Monay, we aim to offer our users a 360-degree financial world, bringing together the main components of finance: spending, budgeting, saving and investment. In addition to daily short conversations, phone calls with financial experts, personalized reminder messages and a digital infrastructure that provides financial management on a single platform, we enrich our users’ financial well-being experience with features such as virtual prepaid Monay Card, she noted.

“Our Monay application, launched six months ago, has approximately 70,000 users to date, and our goal is to reach 1 million users within a year.”

Shaping spending habits

Monay Card, Türkiye’s first financial well-being journey card, directs users to spend only the loaded amount, protecting them from impulsive spending behaviors. The innovative feature prevents unnecessary expenses while providing support and motivation to use money in a way that adds value to the individual.

Supported by Mastercard and ParamTech’s wallet infrastructure, Monay Card users can create accounts and cards within the application, make QR payments, engage in online shopping with virtual cards, and benefit from services such as money transfers within the application.

DeBa Ventures announces $30M fund

DeBa Ventures, co-founded by Barbaros Özbuğutu, a well-known figure in the Turkish fintech scene, has unveiled a new $30 million (TL 913.63 million) fund with a focus on early-stage startups. The announcement comes on the heels of the success story of iyzico, a digital payments company closely associated with Özbuğutu.

The Luxembourg-based DeBa Ventures aims to invest in early-stage fintech and B2B technology startups over the next four years. This fund, totaling $30 million in capital, is not limited by geographical boundaries and is poised to support both domestic and international ventures addressing real-world challenges.

Özbuğutu highlighted the need for an increase in the number of venture capital funds with entrepreneurial roots.

“Throughout my entrepreneurial journey, the most productive funds I’ve worked with were always led by individuals with entrepreneurial backgrounds. I believe there should be a rise in the number of funds with a history of entrepreneurship worldwide. In establishing DeBa Ventures, we felt a responsibility to act on this belief,” he noted.

“Our focus is not only on providing financial support to entrepreneurs but also on being there for founders in leadership, strategy, implementation and mental health aspects.”

Günce Önür, who has been with Startup Wise Guys for nearly five years and has invested in over 130 early-stage ventures since 2022, will assume the role of general partner at DeBa Ventures as of March this year.

Önür emphasized the company’s goal commitment to being more than just a venture capital fund.

“Our aim is to be a global investment fund that goes beyond the traditional role of a venture capital fund. We want to center our focus on entrepreneurs, combining both entrepreneurship and global investment experiences related to exits. As we actively commence our investments, we eagerly look forward to engaging with early-stage ventures,” he noted.

The DeBa Ventures team not only provides financial support to the startups they invest in but also offers mentorship, access to an extensive investor network and guidance for global expansion.

Türk Telekom’s data center granted environmental certification

One of Türkiye’s leading telecommunications and technology companies, Türk Telekom continues its efforts in the field of data security, an essential element of national security.

The company’s Esenyurt Data Center, equipped with high-security technology, has become the first organization to earn the TS EN 50600 Design Certificate, showcasing its competence in environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions.

The certificate verifies that the center meets specific criteria for reliability and business continuity, confirming that it adheres to data security protocols. The certification also encompasses compliance, competitive advantage, energy efficiency standards and specific requirements related to environmental sustainability.

Durmuş Ali Taşkın (R), deputy general manager of Türk Telekom, is handed the TS EN 50600 Design Certificate for the company's Esenyurt Data Center. (Courtesy of Türk Telekom)
Durmuş Ali Taşkın (R), deputy general manager of Türk Telekom, is handed the TS EN 50600 Design Certificate for the company’s Esenyurt Data Center. (Courtesy of Türk Telekom)

Türk Telekom provides a range of services, including data storage, cloud and cybersecurity, in its data centers with over 10,000 square meters of space, emphasizing high accessibility and uninterrupted service. These data centers also support energy efficiency through environmentally friendly technologies.

Durmuş Ali Taşkın, deputy general manager in charge of Information Technologies at Türk Telekom, said since its launch in 2018, the Esenyurt Data Center has been providing quality cloud and data center services to corporate clients, holding global certifications.

“With the TS EN 50600 Design Certificate, the center once again validates its success in adapting designs to environmental conditions, energy efficiency, redundancy in power and cooling infrastructure, data line backup for business continuity, the facility’s ability to provide protection through security measures, and its competence in environmental sensitivity with secure and sustainable solutions,” said Taşkın.

“The document, the first of its kind in Türkiye, brings us great joy as it confirms our resilience against power, cooling and data line interruptions, as well as the security against unauthorized access attempts,” he noted.

He said their detailed examination capability of operational developments in the facility is also verified by Türkiye’s quality certification authority.

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