Greater safety on Turkish streets

The unique success story of TÜVTÜRK

A visit to the TÜVTÜRK testing center in Istanbul’s Dudullu neighborhood.
Video: TÜV SÜD

Every child in Turkey is familiar with the “TÜV” brand, thanks to TÜVTÜRK. The company has been responsible for the periodic inspections of all vehicles in the country since 2008, making it a success story based on the German model.

The project was completed in February 2009. In that month and up to that point, the last of a total of 189 TÜVTÜRK vehicle inspection stations went into operation in Turkey. In only 18 months, a project team consisting of about 30 engineers had overseen the construction of the stations featuring a total of 457 inspection lanes, coordinated a dozen regional construction companies, and organized the training of more than 2,000 new employees. It was truly a logistical masterpiece. The outcome is that TÜVTÜRK with its permanent stations and an additional 81 mobile ones successfully took over the nationwide vehicle inspection program, which had previously been organized by the government. Having the monopoly in this market segment, the company now performs this task on behalf of the government.

It all started with a request submitted to TÜV SÜD in 2004. The Turkish government was looking for a contract partner who could take over the deficient governmental vehicle inspection program and apply it nationwide. It found suitable partners in TÜV SÜD, Dogus (a Turkish company), and the Akfen construction company, which jointly backed TÜVTÜRK in the founding stage. Bridgepoint (a UK-based company) alongside Dogus joined as one of TÜV SÜD’s consortium partners at the end of 2009. The clear intent of the Ankara-based government was to modernize the Turkish vehicle inspection system so that it would meet strict vehicle safety requirements such as those of the EU. Many Turkish immigrant workers were very familiar with the successful independent monitoring system in Germany that was now to be implemented in Turkey. It helped to establish the blue TÜVTÜRK octagonal label as representing safety on Turkish roads everywhere – in Istanbul, Ankara, Bursa, and beyond.

In 2009, the TÜV SÜD Journal proudly reported, “The impressive figures relating to station construction do not aptly convey the many challenges that existed at the time. Besides the cultural differences that were a factor in a project of this scale, Turkey’s size, topography, and extreme weather variations repeatedly posed daunting tasks for the TÜVTÜRK planning and construction teams. One must also consider that even though 20 percent of Turkey’s vehicles operate in the Istanbul metropolitan region, the inspection stations must provide coverage for the entire country. The vacation destinations on the Turkish coast see a large number of vehicles coming through; however, construction is not permitted there in the high season. In the eastern part of the country, the road network is in worse shape than in western Turkey. Some of the coastal regions rise steeply from the sea and the country’s interior features high mountains that present problems in winter.”

The company started with 800,000 vehicle inspections and 2,500 employees. In the meantime, 3,500 experts conduct almost nine million general inspections at 200 permanent testing stations and more than 100 mobile ones. Those figures make TÜV SÜD more successful in Turkey than in Germany – and that is definitely a success story!