Aviva Group companies have had a presence in Turkey since Commercial Union appointed an agency in Izmir almost 150 years ago.

Country History

Stamps from a Commercial Union Turkey registration document, 1911


On 29 December, the Commercial Union Assurance Company appoints Gout Brothers as agents for Smyrna (Izmir).


On 18 April, the foreign committee of the North British & Mercantile Insurance Company, later part of Commercial Union, appoints John & George Rowell as agents for Constantinople (Istanbul). The Northern Assurance Company, later part of Commercial Union, appoints Hadkinson Merrylees & Co agent for Smyrna.


The Northern is operating an agency in Constantinople.


On 28 April, Commercial Union appoints George H Clifton as fire agent for Constantinople. Mr Clifton’s grandson, Charles Clifton, will still be running the agency in 1897.


The Northern appoints Maralon Pere et Fils as agents for Salonica.


The Northern appoints Eduard Aslan as agent for Cavalla.


On 20 April, Commercial Union appoints Joseph Isaac Modiano fire agent for Salonica. In October, Mr Modiano is also appointed marine agent. On 17 June, the Norwich Union Fire Insurance Society appoints agent for Smyrna. The Yorkshire Fire & Life Insurance Company, established in 1824 and later part of the General Accident Fire & Life Assurance Corporation, appoints Tebbutt & Co as agent for Smyrna.

Norwich Union Turkey prospectus, 1910


On 7 December, Norwich Union Fire appoints John Honischen agent for Smyrna.


Yorkshire Fire & Life appoints the Royal Insurance Company agent for Smyrna.


On 20 September, the Norwich Union Fire agent for Smyrna requests permission from the board to set up a salvage corps for the society with a uniform and badges.


On 7 August, Norwich Union Fire agrees to set up an agency in Constantinople.


The Palatine Insurance Company, later part of Commercial Union, appoints an agent for Constantinople. On 21 December, Norwich Union Fire appoints Alfred Oscar Van Lennep as agent for Smyrna in place of Mr Honischen, who has resigned.

Norwich Union Turkey prospectus, 1908


On 2 November, Norwich Union Fire appoints Gustave Couteaux agent for “Constantinople the ports and harbours in the vicinity thereof and of the Bospherous and the sea of Marmora.”


The Northern appoints Theodore D Pissurica agent for Monastir.


On 2 February, Commercial Union appoints Mr N T Petrocochino fire agent for Constantinople, with sub agencies in Galata, Gallipoli (Gelibolu), Availi (Ayvalik) and Rodosto (Tekirdag). Later in the year, the company appoints the Spartali Brothers as fire and marine agent for Smyrna.


On 17 October, Norwich Union Fire appoints Rene Joseph Osinanne Glavany agent for Constantinople. Commercial Union is now transacting fire, marine and accident business in Constantinople through N T Petrocochino.


On 10 April, N T Petrocochino, agent for Commercial Union, begins offering life insurance.

General Accident Turkey policy, 1907


General Accident commences business in Constantinople through Clifton & Courtelly.


The Union Assurance Society (No.1), later part of Commercial Union, opens a branch in Constantinople. The branch manager, appointed by the following year, is Albert Edward Mattass.


By this date, Norwich Union Life has appointed Gilchrist, Walker & Co as agent for Constantinople.


Commercial Union and Union Assurance both withdraw from Constantinople.


General Accident opens a branch in Istanbul, under Mr P Courtelly.


General Accident withdraws from Turkey.


AK Emeklilik is incorporated as a subsidiary of the Sabanci Group.


Commercial Union forms the general insurer Commercial Union Sigorta AS in conjunction with Finansbank.

General Accident Turkey letter, 1913


On 14 November, Commercial Union forms Commercial Union Hayat Sigorta, a life company.


Commercial Union Sigorta AS becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Commercial Union.


On 31 March, Commercial Union Hayat Sigorta changes its name to Commercial Union Hayat ve Emeklilik AS to reflect the fact that it now offers pensions as well as life insurance.


On 15 September, Commercial Union Sigorta AS changes its name to Aviva Sigorta while Commercial Union Hayat ve Emeklilik AS changes its name to Aviva Hayat ve Emeklilik AS


On 31 October, Aviva Hayat ve Emeklilik AS merges with AK Emeklilik. Based on the equal share principal, both Aviva plc, and Sabanci Holding have a 49.7% share in the merged company. On 1 November, as a result of the merger, Aviva Hayat ve Emeklilik AS becomes Aviva SA Emeklilik ve Hayat.

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