ENKA was founded in 1957 as a partnership between Şarık Tara and his brother-in-law, the late Sadi Gülçelik, both of whom were civil engineers who graduated from Istanbul Technical University.
During its first few years in operation, ENKA gradually became stronger thanks to the hard work and sacrifices of its founders. The small new firm had taken an active part in various large construction projects in Istanbul – such as the İstinye Highway Bridge and Quaywall, and the Babaeski-Kuleli Road – and was beginning to attract the attention of high-level officials, evoking their admiration and encouragement with its founding philosophy of concentrating on projects requiring special techniques or involving a relatively high degree of difficulty as well as complex design and engineering tasks and risk, rather than on the conventional building projects in which most other firms were engaged.
Right from the start, management and staff, engineers and workers stood shoulder-to-shoulder in a joint effort which has formed the basis of ENKA’s particularly friendly and cooperative management style.
The most significant projects in the early years were the construction of the Unkapanı Flyover, the General Electric Motors Factory and the Haydarpaşa Grain Silos in Istanbul, the Siemens Cable Plant in Mudanya, the Goodyear rubber tire plant in İzmit, the Chrysler Truck Assembly Plant in Gebze and the Aksu Paper Mill in Giresun.
At the beginning of 1970, ENKA was involved in 35 construction projects, all running concurrently, ten of which were overseas.
Contracts with foreign companies began to develop into joint ventures, first in Turkey, and then, internationally.