Turkey, a nation straddling Eastern Europe and Western Asia, boasts a rich tapestry of history and culture. Amidst its diverse landscapes and ancient traditions, the country has experienced remarkable economic growth in recent decades. This article aims to spotlight the top five wealthiest individuals in Turkey – Murat Ülker, Ibrahim Erdemoglu, Ali Erdemoglu, Semahat Sevim Arsel, and Ipek Kirac who have left an indelible mark on the country’s economic fabric.
List of the Wealthiest Individuals In Turkey
Murat Ülker is a Turkish billionaire businessman and the chairman of Yıldız Holding, the largest food company in the CEEMEA region. Yıldız Holding encompasses various businesses, including Godiva Chocolatier, Pladis, and Sok. Ülker owns a majority stake of 63% in Yıldız Holding, which is renowned for producing a diverse range of food products and non-alcoholic beverages.
Yıldız Holding made notable acquisitions, investing $850 million to acquire Belgian chocolatier Godiva in 2007 and $3.2 billion to purchase United Biscuits of the U.K. in 2014. In a strategic move to create a more global structure, Ülker merged United Biscuit, Ulker Biscuit, and DeMet’s Candy under the umbrella of London-based Pladis Foods. In early 2019, Godiva revealed plans to sell parts of its Asia-Pacific business, along with a production facility in Belgium, to private equity firm MBK Partners. Yıldız is utilizing the proceeds from this sale to fuel the expansion of Godiva’s cafe business, to grow from 20 stores to over 2,000 globally by 2025.
Ibrahim Erdemoglu and his brother Ali jointly own a significant majority, surpassing 75%, of SASA Polyester, a leading producer of materials used in carpet manufacturing. Their involvement with SASA began in 2015 when they acquired an initial 51% for $102 million. Over time, they increased their stake in the publicly traded company, witnessing a substantial increase in its market value.
The Erdemoglu Holding, led by the brothers, also encompasses two privately held companies, Merinos Carpet and Dinarsu Carpet. Merinos Carpet, initiated in 1970 by their father Mehmet Erdemoglu, and other family members, originated with just two rug-weaving looms. Today, Erdemoglu Holding has evolved into one of the world’s largest carpet manufacturers, boasting production facilities in eight locations across Turkey and Russia.
Ali Erdemoglu, along with his brother Ibrahim, collectively owns a significant majority, exceeding 75%, of SASA Polyester, a prominent producer of materials crucial to the carpet industry. Their involvement with SASA began in 2015 when they acquired an initial 51% for $102 million. Subsequently, they expanded their stake in the publicly traded company, witnessing a remarkable surge in its market value. The combined net worth of the brothers stands at $3.6 billion.
Erdemoglu Holding, led by Ali and Ibrahim, encompasses two privately held companies, namely Merinos Carpet and Dinarsu Carpet. Founded in 1970 by their father Mehmet Erdemoglu and other family members, Merinos started with just two rug-weaving looms. Presently, Erdemoglu Holding has evolved into one of the world’s largest carpet manufacturers, operating production facilities in eight locations across Turkey and Russia.
Semahat Sevim Arsel is a prominent Turkish billionaire businesswoman who serves as a director at Koç Holding, the largest industrial conglomerate in Turkey. She is the eldest child of Vehbi Koç, the founder of Koç Holding, and possesses a 6.15% stake in the family business. As of August 2022, her estimated net worth is $1.6 billion. Semahat Sevim Arsel plays a crucial role as an heir to the Koc family fortune, being the oldest member of the clan and the largest shareholder in the primary holding company.
Koç Holding is a diversified conglomerate involved in various sectors, including energy, automotive, durable consumer goods, finance, technology, food, retail, tourism, agriculture, and shipbuilding. Semahat Arsel actively contributes to the company’s direction as a board member of Koç Holding and serves as the chairperson of its tourism subsidiary, Setur.
Ipek Kirac, the adopted daughter of Inan and Suna Kirac, holds an inheritance in one of Turkey’s largest conglomerates, Koc Holding. Koc Holding is active in four primary sectors: energy, automotive, durable consumer goods, and finance. In 2016, Ipek Kirac became a member of its board of directors. The conglomerate is diversified across various fields, including technology, food, retail, tourism, agriculture, and shipbuilding, with 14 companies under the Koc Group listed on the Borsa İstanbul.
Since 2012, Ipek Kirac has taken on the roles of chairwoman and CEO at Sirena Marine Maritime Industry and Trade, a subsidiary of her father’s Kiraca Holding. Unfortunately, her mother, Suna, a billionaire who battled ALS for 20 years, passed away in September 2020.