Baktat was established in 1986 by the brothers Mustafa, Kadir, Ali, H. İbrahim, and Muharrem Baklan. Since 1991 it has been drawing attention in Turkey, particularly with its modern installations and production-oriented investments. Baktat, which has its head office in Mannheim, Germany, presently has production plants in Manisa, İzmir, Çorum and Bursa.
Mustafa Baklan, the second son of Adıgüzel Baklan – a Turk who came to Germany to work in a foundry – was only 16 in 1972 when he came to Germany. In 1973 he started to work as a laborer in the German firm Erwin-Fehl in Mannheim’s Vegetable and Fruit Market Hall, where he did everything from carrying crates to unloading, packaging and wrapping.
When his older brother Halil and younger brother Muharrem came to Mannheim in 1973, the number of people working in the family went up to three. The three brothers started their first serious business in 1981 when they bought a tractor trailer truck from a Dutch transport company with the 25,000 German marks they had saved between them. They used this truck to transport machine parts and foodstuffs from Germany to Iran and Iraq. However, after a while they gave up this business as it did not prove very profitable.
The last trade attempt of Baklan brothers, which had to do with foodstuffs, was the establishment of Bak Kardeşler Gmbh. The older brother Halil Baklan went to Turkey to investigate the possibilities in the food sector. They rented a depot and began to transport Turkish foodstuffs to German markets. In 1988, they set up a plant in Sungurlu, Çorum to package dry legumes. The brothers first directed their marketing of dry foodstuffs, such as chickpeas and lentils, as well as canned foods, to Germany, but in time followed this with exports to other European countries as well.
The Baklan brothers, who lost their brother Muharrem Baklan in a traffic accident in 1992, still continue the business; Mustafa and Kadir Baklan in European markets, Halil in Turkey and Ali Baklan in the USA.
Baktat Canned Foods in Gemlik which was put in commission in 1995 produces all kinds of canned foods, pickles, olives and preserves.
The contributions of the Baklan brothers to the Turkish economy and their performance
in the European food sector were deemed worthy of the State Service Medal for Superior Services in 2000 and they also received, in the same year, the Gold Star Award of the Spanish B.I.D. Group and the Global Quality Certification..
Mustafa Baklan attributes the secret of their success to effective structuring and good evaluation of the market. He lays emphasis on the Turkish character: “Turks are generally practical people, but they have difficulty in putting this into action. We combined German business discipline with the practical Turkish mind.” Baklan states that they had also tried their luck, unsuccessfully, in the textile and confection sectors and now plan to focus on organic food products. Baklan brothers sell under trade names other than Baklat, such as Kervan and Buket, as well, and their products in the USA sell under the names of Baktat Foods, Inc and Dolphin International, LLC.