The history of Zey-Tur-San

A thousand years ago, the Seljuk’s Manav nomads living in Western Anatolia began moving even farther west. Empires were being created and lost. These early immigrants settling near the present day Bursa, recognized the area as special; fertile valleys, mountain streams, arable land, and its close proximity to the sea.

     Seljuks in Anatolia

The present day town of Umurbey and Gedelek Village thus had their beginnings. Umurbey is still surrounded by 600 years old olive trees and the village of Gedelek has a strong pickle trade.

Our ancestors’ house, Umurbey

In 1930, İbrahim Ersoy, was born in Gemlik, a descendant of these early settlers.

Gemlik 1924

His father was born in Gedelek and his mother in Umurbey. His great grandfather planted some of the trees in that area.

İbrahim Ersoy and his family-Gemlik 1936

He was an olive producer in Gemlik and Ibrahim grew up helping his family and learning olive production.

İbrahim Ersoy and Şenay Ersoy-Gemlik 1954

Several years after military service, İbrahim returned to his home town. He used money saved during his time away to help save the company business. In 1940, when things got better, his father returned the favor and opened one of the first olive stores in Istanbul for his son.

İbrahim Ersoy with his brother Bekir Ersoy and an employee-İstanbul 1975

In 1970, Turgay Tüfekçioğlu fell in love with Ibrahim’s daughter, Nilgün.

Turgay-Nilgün Tüfekçioğlu 1975

Turgay's lineage is from Timurleng, was born in Ankara.

Turgay Tüfekçioğlu with his parents- Ankara 1949

Turgay Tüfekçioğlu has a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering. He studied in America in his 20’s. Him and Nilgün stayed in North Carolina for a couple years before returning to Turkey and raising their 2 sons.

In 1983, Turgay and İbrahim Ersoy, bought a 2000 m2 plot of land in Gedelek and they laid the foundations of Zey-tur-san.

Zeytin (Olives)

Turşu (Pickles)

Sanayi (Company).

Turgay Tüfekçioğlu, Tamer Ersoy with their employees-Gedelek 1985

İbrahim Ersoy, Ahmet Tüfekçioğlu, Turgay Tüfekçioğlu
Ertuğ Tüfekçioğlu with bureaucrats and relatives-Gedelek 1983

In 1985, Zey-Tur-San produced the first pasteurized pickles in Turkey and we exported the first pickles from Turkey to Germany.

During this time, Turgay, Nilgün and their sons spent their summers in the upstairs of the pickle plant in the summer time. Their younger son Altuğ Tüfekçioğlu would wake up early and follow his father through the factory and to the fields to inspect the produce and meet the growers.

Altuğ and Ertuğ Tüfekçioğlu-Gedelek plant 1985

To this day he is intimately involved with the production and growth of the company.

Altuğ and Ertuğ Tüfekçioğlu-Gedelek plant 1986

In 1990’s, the popular pickle-vinegar and mustard firm Reitzel bought minority shares of Zey-tur-san so the company could become more global.

Zey-tur-san eventually became one of the largest pickle and jalapeño suppliers of the 2 largest fast-food chains. At the same time İbrahim’s son, Tamer Ersoy graduated from the mechanical engineering department in Berlin and returned to Turkey. With his expertise, Zey-tur-san’s exports increased to more than 100 countries till this day. Today ZTS exports to more than 30 countries every year.

İbrahim Ersoy, Turgay Tüfekçioğlu, Tamer Ersoy – İstanbul 1978

Zey-tur-san continues to sell their products with the Berrak brand; traditional pickle products that taste amazing without preservatives and additives to local markets and also foreign markets. Zey-tur-san has become a popular and valued pickle firm in Turkey and many other regions.

In 2010, the Istanbul-Izmir Highway Project consumed land from the middle of the Zey-tur-san’s original plant site. Thus, Zey-tur-san moved to a new plant area in Gemiç, which has an 86000 m2 plot.

İbrahim Ersoy, Turgay Tüfekçioğlu, Tamer Ersoy,
Ertuğ Tüfekçioğlu, Altuğ Tüfekçioğlu-Gemiç plant 2012

In 2013, Zey-tur-san and the respectable Gökçen family’s Bplas started a new partnership.

In 2015, Zey-tur-san increased production capacity twice.

Today, Zey-tur-san is the only pickle and jalapeño supplier of one of the biggest fast-food chains in Europe (except Germany), Middle East and Africa.

Zey-tur-san’s first brand Berrak and second brand Ev are growing in Turkey markets day by day.

Turgay Tüfekçioğlu, Tamer Ersoy – Gemiç plant 2012

Zey-Tur-San want to say “Thank-you” to every loyal customer, great business partners, all their employees and growers.