The "Homeland Coffers" established in the town of Pirot in 1863 planted the seeds from which Ziraat Bank grew...Mithat Pasha, then the Ottoman governor of Nis, set up the "Homeland Coffers" in the town of Pirot in 1863 to provide financial support to farmers.
A set of regulations governing such funds that was promulgated in 1867 became the legal framework for the first regulated credit system in the Ottoman Empire.
In 1883 the Homeland Coffers were replaced by "Benefit Funds.
On 28 August 1888, the governing statue of Ziraat Bank was promulgated and the bank's headquarters became operational about thraee weeks later on September 17th.
The War of Independence...
During the First World War and the ensuing Turkish War of Independence, Ziraat Bank undertook vitally important duties. Money supplied by Ziraat Bank in 1919 to cover the expenses of detachments of the Turkish Nationalist Army during the War of Independence was used to purchase gear for soldiers.
When the Grand National Assembly of Turkey met in Ankara on 23 April 1920, the Ankara branch of Ziraat Bank was put in charge of all the branches and assistance funds in territories subject to the assembly's jurisdiction.
Subsequently, control of the bank's in Izmir and Istanbul organizations was taken over by the Ankara branch.
As of 23 October 1922, Ziraat Bank's national unity was completely restored.
Together with the Republic of Turkey...
With the establishment of the Turkish Republic, Ziraat Bank embarked upon a period of rapid growth and development, expanding its branch and service network so as to reach firstly to farmers and to the entire society everywhere in Turkey.
Ziraat Bank's mission was no longer confined to agriculture. Ziraat Bank served as the engine in the process of Turkey's economic recovery and development.
The 1980s and beyond...
Ziraat Bank continued to grow, ultimately becoming the banking institution with a truly global scale that it is today. In 1983 the bank's New York representative's office was turned into a branch while other offices went into service in Duisburg, Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart, and Rotterdam.
In Euromoney magazine's 1988 list of the world's five hundred biggest banks in terms of equity, Ziraat Bank ranked 452nd.
During this period, Ziraat Bank publicly opened Turkey's first museum devoted to banking in its headquarters building in the Ulus district of Ankara and it also launched the country's first banking school.
Keeping pace with technological developments, Ziraat Bank joined the SWIFT system in 1990 and introduced self-service banking the same year.
T.C. Ziraat Bank Moscow, Kazkommerts Ziraat International Bank (KZI Bank), Turkmen Turkish Commercial Bank (TTC Bank), and Uzbekistan Turkish Bank (UT Bank) were all founded and became operational in 1993.
The same year, the Euromoney survey of the world's top 500 banks showed Ziraat Bank in 202nd place overall, in 41st place on the basis of net profit, and in 1st place worldwide in terms of return on equity.
By 1999, the bank had 21 subsidiaries and it opened a branch in Skopje that year as well.
A new century...
Statue 4603 passed by Parliament in 2000 transformed Ziraat Bank into a joint-stock company. This change was a milestone in Ziraat Bank's journey towards becoming a stronger, more effective, and profitable financial institution.
In 2001, Ziraat Bank embarked upon a thorough-going transformation in which the bank's organisational structure was completely overhauled to bring it into line with the needs of modern banking and international competition. In this process Emlak Bankasi, another state-owned bank, was merged into Ziraat Bank.
In 2003 M.Zeki Sayin was appointed chairman of a board of directors that had been set up and given responsibility for the administration of all state-owned banks while Can Akin Caglar became general manager of Ziraat Bank. Having successfully completed its mission, the joint board of directors was disbanded in 2005.
Over the last five years, Ziraat Bank's financial performance has been excellent by any measure.
The bank undertakes and fulfills the mission embodied in the phrase "the engine of the Turkish economy" by supplying more resources to more customers day after day.
Ziraat Bank was Turkey's most profitable bank and the sector's profit leader in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.
As the strike force of the Turkish economy, Ziraat Bank will continue to manage change in the future just as it has been doing for nearly a century and a half as it goes on delivering high quality banking products and services with the same dedication and commitment to millions of customer’s everywhere in the country.