Turkey Issues its First Sustainable Sukuk

Istanbul,10 June 2020 – Sukuk are Islamic bonds structured to generate returns in compliance with Islamic finance principles. Sustainable Sukuk are asset-based financial instruments whose proceeds are exclusively used for funding eligible sustainability projects. The compatibility between Islamic Finance and sustainable development has been attracting growing interest from actors in both sides. To tap into the potential of this synergy, UNDP’s IICPSD established the Global Islamic Finance and Impact Investing Platform (GIFIIP) in collaboration with the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB).  GIFIIP has been promoting Islamic finance backed innovative financing tools, such as Sustainable and Green Sukuks, for SDG implementation since 2016. The Platform has been organizing meetings and workshops in Turkey with different stakeholders in order to raise awareness about innovative finance tools. In March 2018, as part of GIFIIP’s “Green Sukuk initiative” to promote Green and Sustainable Sukuk, IICPSD organized a stakeholder consultation workshop where participants exchanged opinions to create and nurture an enabling environment in Turkey for Sustainable and Green Sukuk issuances.  GIFIIP’s strategy and activities have raised awareness and mobilized stakeholders in different countries to propagate the use of Islamic finance instruments for projects with positive social and environmental impact.  

We have been informed through TSKB after the issuance that the first Sustainable Sukuk issuance took place in Turkey in June 2020 as Zorlu Enerji issued the first Sustainable Sukuk of the country. The company has released a sustainable sukuk framework under its Sukuk Program of 450 million TL. The first issuance within the Program amounted to 50 million TL which took place on June 3rd,2020. The sustainable sukuk issuance was arranged by Industrial Development Bank of Turkey (TSKB) on behalf of Zorlu Enerji. 

Company’s framework was prepared in accordance with the Green Bond Principles (GBP) published by the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA). The framework defines eligible project areas where the Sukuk proceeds can be used. Project eligibility was determined in alignment with Turkey’s development priorities and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) needs. The eligible project areas include: (i) Renewable energy, (ii) Sustainable energy supply, (iii) Sustainable infrastructure and (iv) Clean transportation. Escarus – TSKB Sustainability Consultancy, acted as the external reviewer that provided the second party opinion on Zorlu Enerji’s Sustainable Sukuk Framework, undertaking a first practice by providing a second party opinion to a sustainable sukuk in Turkey. Escarus is the only observer member institution to the GBP from Turkey. UNDP IICPSD and Escarus have been working closely to promote Green Sukuk globally for financing SDGs.

The transaction of this issuance in the market signals that there is potential in the Turkish market for the development of sustainable and green sukuk products. GIFIIP sees that its activities have increased awareness and interest in the Turkish market on green/sustainable sukuk. This shows the validity of the role of the Platform to inform and increase awareness among different investors, companies and stakeholders in the market on sustainable Islamic finance backed products and solutions. GIFIIP will continue its awareness raising activities in the role of innovative finance models. 

About Zorlu Enerji

Zorlu Enerji, founded in 1993 to operate in different areas of the energy sector, is an energy company that provides integrated services on a global scale. It is among Turkey’s leading private power producers with a total installed capacity of 1.006 MW, 659 MW domestic, 346 MW overseas. The Company is an integrated utility operating in electricity generation, electricity and gas distribution and electricity wholesale and retail sales segments.

About TSKB

Headquartered in İstanbul and established in 1950 with the support of World Bank and the Central Bank of Turkey and shareholding of private commercial banks, Türkiye Sınai Kalkınma Bankası (TSKB) is Turkey’s first privately-owned development and investment bank. Since the day it was founded, TSKB has been supporting Turkey’s sustainable growth with its deep knowledge and experience as well as the broad array of corporate banking, investment banking, and consultancy services that it provides its customers. Through financial subsidiaries offering real estate and sustainability solutions, TSKB also adds value to its customers’ investments.

About Escarus

Escarus is a subsidiary of TSKB. Escarus works to ensure that TSKB’s sustainability approach, which has been successfully implemented since the start of 2000s, evolves into a well-established culture and this experience is shared to support the sustainable development of the Turkish economy. The company is the only member of the GBP from Turkey and is a member of GBP’s Advisory Council. Escarus previously took role in translating the Green Bond Principles and Social Bond Principles to Turkish, and currently acts as the co-coordinator of the external review working group of the Advisory Council.


Global Islamic Finance and Impact Investing Platform (GIFIIP), established by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and UNDP’s Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development (IICPSD) in 2016, aims to position Islamic finance and impact investing as a leading enabler of global SDG implementation through private sector engagement. Engaging the private sector, governments, and key stakeholders operating in the Islamic finance and impact investing markets, the platform aims to promote market-based solutions to sustainable development challenges by creating a collaborative working space among these actors. A three-pillar strategy has been defined for the advancement of the platform: i) Conceptualization & Capacity Building, (ii) Advocacy & Inter-industry Collaboration and iii) Deal Sourcing & Matchmaking.

For more information on GIFIIP and IICPSD visit the following website:


Contact information:

Evrim Ayana Karslı, ayana.karsli@undp.org