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Established as a State-Owned Enterprise (SOE) limited with its capital, autonomous in its activities having a legal entity under the name of General Directorate of Tea Enterprises (Çay-Kur) under Statutory Decree 112 dated 10.10.1983 based on code 2929 enacted in year 1983 (published in the Official Gazette with duplicated issue  no 18205 dated 28.10.1983).  This code has been amended by Statutory Decree with issue no 233. 

First serious attempt regarding cultivation of tea plant in Turkey was carried out in year 1888. In the book titled “Industrial and Commercial Geography” published by Governor of Mudanya, Hasan Fehmi graduated from Imperial School of Political Science in year 1892 in Istanbul, it was written that tea plants were imported from China through Esbaki İsmail Pasha, Minister of Commerce of that time. Tea saplings cultivated in several parts of Bursa city didn’t grow and same attempt was repeated in year 1892 but no result was achieved. Ecological conditions of Bursa city being not favorable for tea production and this situation not known in that time are the reason of failure of this nice attempt. However, with effect of habitude of drinking tea which became quickly widespread among people tea cultivation in Turkey became a subject which was spoken of and discussed continuously. Meanwhile, some articles and books, even if just a bit, were published regarding tea.      
Attempts regarding tea agriculture in Turkey developed after year 1917. In days following return of Batum and its environment to the homeland, a committee in which Professor and Assistant Director of Halkalı Agricultural School Ali Rıza ERTEN took his part, was appointed to make examinations in the region. According to the report issued upon examinations made, it was specified that Eastern Black Sea Region having similar ecology with Batum is favorable for cultivation of tea and citrus plants. 
Ali Rıza Erten mentioned in his said report that money paid for import of tea is very high after presenting technical details regarding agriculture and processing of tea. Erten recommended tea agriculture in Rize region due to its suitability in terms of ecology. Furthermore, he stated that it would be beneficial to take measures to ensure production of lemon, orange, mandarin and bamboo in the region. 
Ali Rıza Erten’s report was not taken into consideration due to primary events occurred following first world war. Eastern Black Sea Region’s people who went to Batum and its environment to earn money before the war and couldn’t find this opportunity after the war caused appearance of these problems more prominently and severely. Economic and social crisis appeared in the region, excessive migration due to unemployment necessitated establishment of income resources and business opportunities for local people. 
Important negotiations were made on these days in Turkish Grand National Assembly in order to solve the problem and create income resources for local people. At the end of long negotiations, by taking Ali Rıza Erten’s report issued in year 1917, Turkish Grand National Assembly was enacted the “code 407 regarding cultivation of hazelnut, orange, mandarin, lemon and tea in Rize Province and Borçka District” on 16 February 1924. Thus, tea agriculture was assured legally through this code. 
Garden Cultures Station was established in Rize to make preliminary trials regarding tea agriculture right after the code entered in force and to ensure development of fruit cultivation in the region. Zihni Derin, Agricultural Public Inspector was appointed to organize and execute activities. Rize agricultural officer was sent to Batum at the beginning of following year in order to get information and opinion and to buy tea seeds. Production of tea sapling was started in today’s Central Nursery Garden in Rize with an amount of tea seed bought in Batum. Zihni Derin went to Batum in the same year to make examinations on site.   
Saplings produced in Rize central nursery garden were distributed in one hand to local people and on the other hand, were dispatched to many of our cities to make production trials. Conditions available in these cities were not in conformity with ecology of tea specified in detail in Ali Rıza Erten’s report. Excitement for production and distribution of tea saplings decreased in the course of time in parallel with indifference of manufacturers. Manufacturers which were deprived of necessary support as well as had not enough information lost their interest towards tea agriculture since they didn’t know what future will bring. This situation continued until year 1933.
Upon adoption of self-sufficiency principle by the Government and establishment of a program in year 1933, tea agriculture in our country was brought to the agenda again.  However, two more years passed to establish the organization and to complete preparation activities. During the examination visit made by Pr. Muhlis Erkmen, Agricultural Minister of that time to Rize Region in year 1935 in company with a scientific committee, it was decided that region is suitable for development of tea agriculture and industry in all respects.  As a consequence, it was decided to solve tea problem definitively. Prof. Dr. Şevket Raşit Hatipoğlu, member of scientific committee mentioned necessary measures which should be taken in order to develop tea cultivation in our country together with technical and financial problems of tea cultivation in his book named Tea Economy in Turkey.         
Zihni Derin was appointed again in year 1937 to put tea agriculture in order and to implement it. With experience of years lost in the past, works which were controlled firmly, started to be executed more consciously and in a programmed manner. 
Since works gave positive results, works for establishment of tea gardens was started by importing 20 tons of tea seed from Batum in year 1937, 30 tons in year 1939 and 40 tons in year 1940 and. 
To develop and promote the region economically and socially and reduce social problems caused by migration, tea agriculture and industry was supported and promoted by the government for long years. First tea leaf harvest and dry tea production was implemented in year 1938. First tea processing plant was put into operation in Rize Central Nursery Garden. Gündoğdu and Uzunkaya Tea Plants were established in year 1941. 
With the decree enacted based on Tea Code 3788 dated 1940 and this code, agricultural tea fields were determined according to ecological principles from Araklı river to borders of the Soviet Union and as being 15 km from the coast. An area of 30 thousand decares was allocated for tea agriculture by taking tea consumption and import status into consideration and it was decided Ziraat Bankası to give interest-free 25 liras credit for 5 years. With the same decree, it was given permission to Hopa, Sürmene and Of for tea agriculture.   
With the code 3788 and the decree enacted based on this code, our country’s tea agriculture was assured and obligation of permission was imposed to those who will establish a tea garden. With the code 4223 titled Coffee and Tea Monopoly dated 20 May 1942, tea became monopoly and teas produced were delivered to Monopoly Administration. Following these legal developments, agricultural tea fields were extended and production quantity increased quickly. When fast increase of wet tea leaf production quantity reached at a level which can’t be processed in existing tea plants, it became obligatory to establish high capacity tea factories. Therefore, in year 1946, direction and execution of all activities related to tea was transferred to State Agricultural Affairs Office. The first tea factory having a capacity of 60 tons/ day was put into operation by the said institution in year 1947 in Rize, Fener District under the name Central Tea Factory. 
Tea consumption of Turkey increased 3 times during the period 1945- 1950. Therefore, agricultural tea fields were extended with the code 3788 and increased up to 65 thousand decares with code 574 enacted on 27.02.1950. Furthermore, in year 1950, it was decided to appoint Ministry of Agriculture to carry out tea agriculture and Ministry of Customs and Monopoly to carry out sales, processing and marketing of wet tea leaf. With Tea Code 6133 dated 10 July 1953, instead of extension of agricultural tea fields by law, Council of Ministers was entitled by the code 6133 dated 10 July 1953. Interest-free credit amount to be granted to manufacturers which will establish tea fields was increased to 350 liras from 75 liras per decare with the code 6754 dated 25 June 1956. Tea agriculture and tea manufacturers’ cooperatives were promoted by these codes enacted. 
With the decree 4/3840 dated 6 September 1955, tea field establishment permit was granted for Giresun Merkez, Bulancak, Keşap, Tirebolu, Görele from shores up to 15 km inside and 500 meters of height; with decree 4/9290 dated 22 July 1957 for Akköse, Kendi Güler, Tüfekçi, Ormancık, Çaybaşı, Taşçılar, Günebakan, Ulucami, Çalışanlar villages affiliated to Maçka. 
With the decree 6/9603 dated 3 February 1963, it was decided to register unrecorded 65 thousand decares of tea gardens and total agricultural tea area was increased to 265 thousand decares.  
Increase of agricultural tea fields and wet tea leaf production necessitated increase of number of tea processing factories and in year 1973, number of wet tea processing factories established was increased to 32 and in year 1985 to 45. 
Domestic consumption demand met by import activities until year 1963 started to be met by domestic production as of year 1963. 
Tea Authority Code 1497 entered into force on 4.12.1971. With this code, all activities including agriculture, production and marketing was transferred to General Directorate of Tea Authority. Started to have its operations in year 1973 in Rize as a State Owned Enterprise whose responsibility is limited with its capital, autonomous in its activities, having a legal entity. 
Tea Authority was taken under scope of State Owned Enterprise in order to continue its activities under the name “General Directorate of Tea Enterprises with the code 2929 enacted in year 1982. Tea agriculture, production, processing and sales were set free with the Tea Code 3092 enacted on 4.12.1984 published in the Official Gazette on 19.12.1984. Thus, real and legal persons were entitled to sell, purchase wet tea leaf from manufacturers, to process tea and to establish and operate tea packing factories. This code removed monopoly of the state over tea; public and private sectors were enabled to work together. However, determination of agricultural tea fields was left to the authority of Council of Ministers. Tea agriculture was prohibited except in fields determined by Council of Ministers and people who will establish a tea garden in regions falling under agricultural tea fields was obliged to get permission beforehand. 
General Directorate of Tea Enterprises was excluded of State Owned Enterprise by associating it with Prime Ministry with the code 4046 enacted on 24.11.1994 and taken in the scope of Public Economic Enterprises. 
The code 2929 was repealed by the Statutory Decree 233 enacted on 8.6.1984 and published on 14.12.1984 for re-regulation of State Owned Enterprises. Some provisions of the Statutory Decree 233 were amended by the Statutory Decree published on 29.01.1990. 
General Directorate of Tea Enterprises was excluded of State Owned Enterprise (Article 35) by associating it with Prime Ministry with the code 4046 enacted on 24.11.1994 and taken in the scope of Public Economic Enterprises. 
Main status of General Directorate of Tea Enterprises entered into force by being published in the Official Gazette with issue no 22853 dated 20.12.1996. Establishment continues to have its operations within the frame of this status in force. Çaykur which continued its activities from year 1996 until 1999 under Prime Ministry was associated with Ministry of Industry and Commerce on 12.01.1999 and again with Prime Ministry on 28.05.1999. 
Çaykur became an establishment of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs on 26 November 2002 pursuant to article 4 amended by the code 4060 and article 10 amended by the code 3313 of code 3046. 


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