Since 1939

Sunel was founded in 1939 and is one of the oldest firms in its sector with deeply rooted traditions. However, its true foundation and the launch of its present venture date further back. Through an interesting twist of fate, Sunel’s storyI is one intimately intertwined with the history of the Turkish Republic. In the early 1930s, after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the nations of the world were striving to overcome the Great Depression and sought mutual solutions to economic problems. At the time, one England’s major debtors was the former Ottoman Empire. With the fall of the Ottomans, the young Republic of Turkey had to take over these debts. Turkey, left with this responsibility, was searching for ways to generate a method of payment to its creditor. As a result of the discussions held between The British Foreign Office, Board of Trade and the Turkish Government, a company was founded with the special instructions of the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

This company was SUNEL.

It was agreed that Turkey's debts would be repaid via tobacco exports and the value of tobacco was deducted from Turkey's debt to England. Thus, Sunel's emergence and development coincides with an economic turning point in the history of the Republic of Turkey.