The President of The Republic of Türkiye H.E. Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan honored the opening ceremony of 1st AlBaraka Summit in Istanbul. The Summit was organized by AlBaraka Forum for Islamic Economy under the title “Global Prospects for Islamic Economics: Fundamentals and Needs” on (Friday – Saturday) 24 – 25 May 2024 in Istanbul Lütfi Kırdar, International Convention and Exhibition Center – Türkiye. AlBaraka summit in Istanbul is an episode of an annual international event series focused on boosting the Islamic finance sector in Türkiye. The event is organized by AlBaraka Forum for Islamic Economy in partnership with the Investment Office of the Presidency of the Republic of Türkiye, the Istanbul Financial Center (IFC), the Türkiye Wealth Fund (TWF), Ibn Haldun University, and Islamic Cooperation Youth Forum (ICYF) in addition to Albaraka Türk Participation Bank.
Mr. Alican Ayanlar, Presenter and Correspondent, TRT World, kicked off the soft opening of the Summit. Our MC highlighted that we must understand and implement the ethical principles of Islamic economics and the importance of not only recognizing Islamic economics as an economic model but also realizing its social and moral dimensions.
During the soft, H.E. Mr. Yousef Hassan Khalawi, Secretary General of AlBaraka Forum for Islamic Economy, welcomed attendees and highlighted the role of the forum as a global, non-profit think tank focused on partnership and alliances.
H.E. Mr. Khalawi emphasized that the ideas discussed at the summit go beyond the traditional Islamic economy paradigm, which typically focuses on solutions for Muslims, pointing out the capacity of Islamic Economy to lead the global economy and solve the problems caused by experimental economic solutions offered by other thoughts.
H.E. Prof. Dr. Atilla Arkan, President of Ibn Haldun University, delivered the keynote speech, emphasizing the importance of the impact of Islamic economy on the global scale, highlighting that the summit represents a significant milestone in the journey towards understanding, enhancing, and implementing the principles of Islamic economics on a global scale.
Later, the opening ceremony of the 1st AlBaraka Summit in Istanbul-Türkiye started with a recitation of some verses from the Holy Quran from Surah Ash-Shura by Sheikh. İshak Danış, Imam of Çamlıca Mosque.
H.E. Mr. Abdullah Saleh Kamel, Chairman of the Board of Trustees – AlBaraka Forum for Islamic Economy, started his speech at the opening ceremony of the summit, by welcoming The President of The Republic of Türkiye H.E. Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, beside , the high profile and distinguished attendees, noting that his father late Sheikh Saleh Kamel, may God have mercy on him, was the pioneer of launching participatory banking in Türkiye , along with a group of partners and companions 40 years ago, began by founding AlBaraka Türk Participation Bank, which paved the way for more participatory banks for an ethical banking industry committed to true principles, making Türkiye one of the most important hubs for the Islamic economy in the world.
H.E. Mr. Abdullah Saleh Kamel added, “This annual summit will contribute, to strengthening Türkiye’s position as one of the most important hubs in the Islamic economy industry.” He stressed that Türkiye’s choice to host this summit was not random or out of courtesy, but rather came as a result of promising studies of the various world markets after 40 years of leadership experience in the Islamic economy, which began in Medina in the historical capital of the Islamic economy in 1981, where AlBaraka Symposium was launched. and in 2020, Late Sheikh Saleh Kamel, transformed the symposium into this international global think tank. H.E. Mr. Abdullah concluded his speech by thanking all partners, sponsors, and those in charge of the summit for the efforts exerted to make it a success.
In his speech during the opening ceremony, H.E. Dr. Fatih Karahan – Governor of the Central Bank of the Republic of Türkiye, welcomed the honorable audience, expressing thanks and appreciation to all those involved in organizing the Summit. During his speech, he addressed the current economic situation in Türkiye, especially the important issue of inflation, addressing the positive effects of the process of reducing inflation on the Turkish economy, and The Central Bank’s role in eliminating inflation and ensuring price stability. Pointing out that the importance of the participatory economy will continue to increase at the local and international levels. According to the stability report issued by the Islamic Financial Services Board, of which Türkiye is a member, global sharing economy assets are expected to reach US$3.69 trillion by the end of 2024.
A documentary film produced by the Media and Communication Department of AlBaraka Forum showcased the organization’s progress as a global, independent, non-profit think tank. It highlighted the forum’s significant contributions to the development of Islamic Finance in worldwide, tracing the origins of participatory finance in Türkiye and exploring its potential impact on the global stage.
H.E. the President of the Republic of Türkiye, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, opened his speech at the opening ceremony, welcoming the distinguished guests from representatives of the world of finance and economics from all over the world, and expressing his great pride that the ancient city of Istanbul hosts the Summit, in addition to offering his thanks to AlBaraka Forum for Islamic Economy and its partners at the summit including the Presidential Investment Office, Turkish Wealth Fund, Istanbul Financial Center, Ibn Khaldun University, and the Islamic Cooperation Youth Forum.
His Excellency also thanked the scholars specialized in the fields of finance and economics who contributed to this summit, from inside and outside Türkiye, hoping that this summit would be a cause of goodness and prosperity in the local, regional, international, and humanitarian economy.
During his speech at the summit, His Excellency referred to the late Sheikh Saleh Kamel with all appreciation, stressing that he was not just a successful businessman and a visionary, but also a person who devoted everything he had to charitable works, helping the needy and supporting the distressed, and he made real contributions to support and develop the Islamic economy tools globally.
As AlBaraka Forum for Islamic Economy played a major role in presenting the Islamic economy as an economic option. His Excellency added that Türkiye is hosting AlBaraka Summit for the first time, hoping that this summit will achieve the expectations in the financial and economic sector for the development of the Islamic economy, and that it will be the cornerstone of everything related to the Islamic economy globally.
H.E. the President stressed that just as Türkiye played an important cultural role between the East and the West, it also plays the same role economically. As Last year Türkiye opened Istanbul Financial Center, which aims to support and spread Türkiye’s economic vision, especially in the field of Islamic economics. Explaining that Zakat, Sadaqah, honesty and justice are the foundations of Islam, and they are the same foundations on which the Islamic economy is based. The Islamic economy, which aims for sustainable development, also aims for morality and social prosperity, and the participatory economy is the complementary stone of this economy.
H.E. The President concluded his speech by stating that the participatory economy is an appropriate economic option and a subject of appreciation and attention in a country like Türkiye, where the percentage of Muslims is 99%, stressing the pivotal role that it can play for the advancement of the country and the strengthening of the Turkish economy, so we must benefit from its capabilities. Highlighting that there will be serious steps in enacting laws related to the participatory economy, and that he aspires for Istanbul to be the center and destination of the participatory economy in the entire world.
H.E. President of The Republic of Türkiye, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and H.E. Mr. Abdullah Saleh Kamel, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at AlBaraka Forum for Islamic Economy, observed the signing of memorandums of understanding. The agreements were signed by H.E. Mr. Yousef Hassan Khalawi, Secretary-General of AlBaraka Forum for Islamic Economy, and representatives of AlBaraka Summit’s strategic partners. The signatories included Mr. Salim Arda Ermut, Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board, Türkiye Wealth Fund Mr. A. Burak Dağlıoğlu, President of the Investment Office of the Presidency of the Republic of Türkiye, Mr. Ahmet İhsan Erdem, Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Taha Ayhan, President of the Islamic Cooperation Youth Forum, and Prof. Dr. Atilla Arkan, President of Ibn Haldun University.
Following this, H.E. Mr. Abdullah Saleh Kamel, Chairman of the AlBaraka Forum Board of Trustees, gifted President Erdoğan a miniature replica of the Kaaba door as a token of the day. A group photo of Saleh Kamel family was taken with all the participants before the program continued with various sessions.
The first day of 1st AlBaraka Summit in Istanbul-Türkiye held at Anadolu Auditorium, Istanbul Lütfi Kırdar, International Convention and Exhibition Center – Türkiye on 24 May 2024.
The First Thematic Panel of the Summit began under the title “Islamic Economics Through Time: Tracing Historical Transformations and Contemporary Realities in Islamic Economics”. Bringing his determination to create an insightful and productive discussion, Dr. Hatim El-Tahir, Leader, Islamic Finance Knowledge Centre (IFKC), Deloitte, moderated the first thematic panel.
In light of discovering the rich history and diverse experiences of Islamic economics over the past millennium, and how Islamic principles have shaped economic practices around the world, Prof. Dr. Ahmet Faruk Aysan, Associate Dean for Research, Professor of Islamic Finance and Economy, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, College of Islamic Studies, Qatar Foundation, tackled the first topic titled “A Millennium of Islamic Economics: Traversing Comprehensive Historical Experiences”.
Speaking about the history of finance, Dr. Cem Korkut, Associate Professor at the Department of Economics, Ankara Yildirim Beyazit University (AYBU), tackled the second topic under the title “Unraveling the Missing Link: Exploring the Royal Ottoman Islamic Banks’ Impact and Lessons on Modern Finance”.
Through sustainable practices and strategic investments, Awqaf and Zakah NGOs promote long-term economic stability and growth within communities. By prioritizing the well-being of the most vulnerable members of society, they ensure that no one is left behind in the pursuit of economic prosperity. In light of this, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Bulut, Department of Economics, Islamic Economics and Finance, İstanbul Sabahattin Zaim University, discussed the third topic under the title “Empowering Communities: Exploring Awqaf and Zakah NGOs as First Foundational Social Support in Economic Systems.”
As Islamic finance experienced an exciting journey of global expansion, Prof. Dr. Younes Soualhi, Senior Researcher at the International Shariah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) and the Head of Islamic Banking Unit, the Global University of Islamic Finance (INCEIF), Malaysia, tackled the fourth topic under the title “Unveiling the Global Expansion and Evolution of Islamic Finance: Key Features and Insights Gained”.
By providing access to ethical and Sharia-compliant financial products, Islamic finance enables small businesses to thrive and contribute to economic development. Through profit-sharing and risk-sharing principles, SMEs can access funding without relying on interest-based loans, fostering a more inclusive and equitable financial ecosystem, in light of this, Prof. Dr. Mohammad Kabir Hassan, Professor of Finance at University of New Orleans – USA, gave a public lecture about “The Transformative Power of Islamic Finance: Empowering SMEs for Sustainable Growth”.
The second thematic panel launched under the title “Islamic Economies in the Global Arena: Contemporary Trends and International Perspectives”. Bringing his discussion talents and moderation qualifications, Dr. Mahmut Aydoğmuş, International Relations Director, Borsa İstanbul, moderated the second panel, to create an insightful panel.
Speaking about “The Islamic Investment Solutions and Instruments: The Compliant Capital Markets and Sukuk.” Prof. Dr. Ahmet Şuayb Gündoğdu, Professor at İstanbul Sabahattin Zaim University (ISZU), Department of Islamic Economics and Finance, pointed out that a mismatch between resource mobilization and lending is a characteristic of financial crises.
Dr. Ali Sakti, Senior Economist at Central Bank of Indonesia, tackled the “Global Expansion of Islamic Not-for-Profit Institutions: The Transformation of the Zakah toward Zakah Funds”, through which he emphasized that Zakat funds are now being used for more than just basic needs.
Prof. Dr. Mohd Ma’Sum Billah, Professor of finance and insurance, Islamic Economics Institute, King Abdulaziz University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, tackled “Maqasid Al-Shariah: The Main Driver for Development, Sustainability, and General Benefits”, through which he highlighted the Core Principles of Maqasid al-shariah including fair and justice, trust and honesty, cooperation, rights and obligations, he also elaborated the measurement of Principles of Maqasid al-Shari’ah.
Türkiye Wealth Fund plays a vital role in shaping Islamic investment channels by tapping into the growing demand for Sharia-compliant financial products and services. With its strategic initiatives and collaborations, it offers unique opportunities for investors seeking ethical and sustainable investment options in the region, in light of this H.E. Mr. Salim Arda Ermut, Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board, Türkiye Wealth Fund, gave a public presentation about “Türkiye Wealth Fund’s Role in Shaping the Islamic Investment Channels: Opportunities and Challenges”.
The second day of the 1st AlBaraka Summit in Istanbul-Türkiye, titled “Global Prospects for Islamic Economics: Fundamentals and Needs” held at Marmara Hall, Istanbul Lütfi Kırdar, International Convention and Exhibition Center – Türkiye on 25 May 2024.
Mr. Yunus Sönmez, Director General of the Cabinet at the ICYF Secretariat, delivered the keynote speech, he started by welcoming the distinguished guests, and expressing his gratitude for the esteemed partners and organizers for bringing this summit to life. He also referred to Istanbul as an ideal city to host the summit as it acts as a point where east meets the west, tradition meets innovation, and ethics meets economics, praising the role of the summit as a unique platform to delve into Islamic economy, activate Maqasid Al-Shariah and pave the way for more inclusive and prosperous future
Under the title “Islamic Economy as Ethical Economy: Exploring Principles, Premises, Benefits, and Moral Imperatives”, the summit’s third thematic panel was held.
With a blend of leadership capabilities and discussion qualifications, H.E. Dr. Farrukh Raza, Chairman of the Governance and Ethics Board, The Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), moderated the third thematic panel, highlighting that this session will explore how Islamic economy acts as an ethical economy, raising the question of what exactly is meant by Islamic economy.
By upholding the values of integrity, honesty, and social responsibility, Islamic Economics promotes a more ethical approach to wealth distribution and resource allocation. It emphasizes the importance of ensuring that everyone has access to basic necessities and opportunities for growth and development. In light of this, Dr. Isa Yilmaz, Associate Professor, Economics Department, Istanbul Medeniyet University, tackled “Ethical Foundations of Islamic Economics: Advancing Fairness and Justice for Societal Welfare”.
Bringing his determination to create an insightful and productive discussion, Prof. Dr. Monzer Kahf, Professor of Islamic Finance & Economics at the Faculty of Economics and Management Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University, Türkiye tackled “Benevolence in Islamic Economy: Exploring the Concept of Ultimate Giving and its Implications”.
Dr. Melih Turan, Co-founder & CEO of Goldframer, discussed “Empowering Tomorrow: The Role of Youth in Advancing Islamic Banking Practices through Digital Economy Initiatives”.
Under the title “Synergies and Sustainability: Exploring Eco-systems in the Context of Islamic Economy and its Impact Nationally and Internationally”, the fourth thematic panel was held.
Through a focus on eco-systems, we can cultivate a harmonious balance between economic growth and environmental preservation. This approach not only aligns with Islamic teachings on stewardship of the Earth, but also ensures a more equitable distribution of resources for all, in light of this Dr. Yıldız Özkök, Associate Professor at Faculty of Economics, Administrative and Social Sciences, Hasan Kalyoncu University, moderated the fourth thematic panel.
Dr. Yıldız reminded the audience with a quote by Late Sheikh Saleh Kamel “If you do not add anything new to the world, you will not leave an impact therein.”
Dr. Edib Smolo, Assistant Professor and former Chair of the Finance Department and Director of the Master of Science in Finance program, Effat University, discussed “Islamic Economic Ecosystems at a National Scale: Addressing Country-Specific Needs and Implications”.
By creating new financial centers tailored to the needs of the Islamic world, countries can boost economic growth, attract foreign investment, and promote financial inclusion among Muslim populations, considering this Dr. Abdulbari Mashal, Managing Partner at Raqaba, Shariah Audit and Islamic Financial Advisory, highlighted “The Evolving Role of Global Financial Centers: Necessity for Multiple New Centers to Meet the Economic and Financial Needs of the Islamic World”.
Exploring the Halal Industry Ecosystem is a complex and dynamic process that involves understanding the various standards and certifications in place, in result Mr. Ihsan ÖVÜT, The Secretary General of the Standards and Metrology Institute for the Islamic Countries (SMIIC), a subsidiary organ of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), tackled “Exploring the Halal Industry Ecosystem: Standards, Sustainability, and Market Dynamics”.
The fifth and final thematic panel of the 1st AlBaraka Summit in Istanbul is held under the title “The Regulatory Evolution in Islamic Economy: Exploring Components, Challenges, and Opportunities”. With a main objective of creating an insightful discussion and valuable, Dr. Tarik Akin, Head of The Department of Participation Finance at Finance Office, Presidency of Türkiye, moderated the fifth and final panel of the summit, highlighting the various aspects and topics that will be discussed during the panel.
Prof. Dr. Mohamed Serag, Professor of Islamic studies at the Department of Arab and Islamic Civilizations at The American University in Cairo (AUC), brought his economic knowledge and expertise to share them while tackling the topic titled “Advancements in Legal and Legislative Frameworks: Navigating the Landscape of Islamic Economics”.
Speaking about the “Guiding Principles: Regulatory Frameworks and Legal Structures for Non-Profit Models in Islamic Economics, with Emphasis on Zakat and Waqf”, H.E. Dr. Umar Oseni, Secretary General, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Arbitration Centre (OIC-AC), highlighted potentials of zakat and waqf.
Quranic principles emphasize the importance of treating all individuals with dignity and respect, regardless of their background or social status. By incorporating these values into our laws, we can ensure that our legal system is just and impartial, in light of this H.E. Mr. Ahmer Bilal Soofi, Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, and the Senior Managing Partner of the firm and the head of its dispute resolution practice at ABS & Co, Islamabad, Pakistan, discussed the topic “The Quranic Legal Principles for Justice: Building a Legislative Framework for Equity and Fairness”.
Speaking about “Unraveling Legal Complexities: Exploring the Challenges Confronting Islamic Financial Institutions in Türkyie”, Dr. Murat Yaş, Assistant Professor, The Institute of Islamic Economics and Finance, Marmara University, stated that Islamic financial legislations and regulations are key to the sustainable growth and stability of Islamic Financial Institutions, adding that the literature on Islamic financial legislations and regulations in Türkiye is still very limited.
During the workshop titled “Code of Ethics for Islamic Finance Professionals”, Dr. Farrukh Raza, Chairman of the Governance and Ethics Board, The Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), intended to create a conversational and engaging dialogue based on questions and answers and experience exchange between him and the audience. As H.E. Dr. Umar Oseni, Secretary General, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Arbitration Centre (OIC-AC), stated that Ethics is not just about doing the right thing; it is about doing the right thing with the right intention and the right mindset, in the right manner, even when not being observed and to the best of one’s capability.
H.E. Mr. Yousef Hassan Khalawi, Secretary General of AlBaraka Forum for Islamic Economy, delivered the closing remarks of the 1st AlBaraka Summit in Istanbul-Türkiye, starting by expressing his appreciation for the successful partnerships and sponsorships along with organizers who brought this summit to life. H.E. also praised the efficiency of each research paper was presented during the past two days along with the insightful discussions which revealed the various aspects of Islamic economy, adding that the most dangerous thing facing Islamic economy nowadays in our contemporary world is the superficiality and individualism in dealing with it.
In conclusion, H.E. The Secretary General announced the 2nd AlBaraka Summit in Istanbul titled “Islamic Economics Strategies: Path to Influential Global Economy” which will be held next year, highlighting that this title complements what was started at this year’s summit.

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