In early March 2020, the world lost 226 billionaires in twelve days. With these statistics, “Forbes” shows how strongly this year’s rich list has already been influenced by the Corona crisis. Of the remaining billionaires, 51 percent lost wealth compared to the previous year. The situation was very different among the ten richest Turks.
Richest Turks get richer
“Forbes” only posted a minus for two of them in its 2020 ranking. Three of the richest people in Turkey were able to hold their bank accounts, and five got even richer. The business magazine counted a total of 23 dollar billionaires in Turkey. That was a billionaire less than in Spain.
Their total assets were $ 38.9 billion. This means that the Turkish super-rich lagged behind their German counterparts ($ 4.2 billion) in terms of average per capita wealth ($ 1.7 billion).
These are the super rich in Turkey:
@imago images / Seskim Photo
# 10 Semahat Sevim Arsel
Semahat Sevim Arsel is the second richest woman in Turkey in tenth place. “Forbes” estimated her fortune as of April 7, 2020 at 1.6 billion dollars (1335th worldwide). That was $ 400 million less than in March 2019. Arsel is the matriarch of the Koc clan and the largest shareholder in the family holding company. There the 92-year-old manages investments in the tourism sector (Setur travel agencies and Divan hotel chain).
# 7 Nihat Özdemir and Sezai Bacaksiz
Nihat Özdemir is one of the three richest people in Turkey whose fortunes have stayed the same in 2020. He shares seventh place with two other super-rich with $ 1.7 billion. The 70-year-old founded the construction company Limak Construction in 1976 with his partner Sezai Bacaksiz. According to Forbes, the holding company was involved in some of the largest infrastructure projects in the country and is now also active in tourism and power generation. The fortune of the 71-year-old co-founder Bacaksiz, according to Forbes, last amounted to 1.7 billion dollars, as in 2019.
# 7 Mustafa Küçük
Mustafa Küçük shares seventh place among the richest Turks with Özdemir and Bacaksiz. According to Forbes, he was able to increase his fortune from 1.2 to 1.7 billion dollars within one year. The 57-year-old is the largest shareholder in the fashion chain LC Waikiki. According to the report, it has more than 1,000 offices in 47 countries.
@imago images / Xinhua
# 6 Hamdi Ulukaya
According to Forbes, Hamdi Ulukaya grew up as a child of Kurdish dairy farmers in Turkey. He first moved to Ankara to study and then moved to New York State in 1994. There he bought an old yoghurt factory with a government SME loan in 2005 and produced Greek yoghurt based on a recipe that was influenced by its origin. Greek yogurt is very popular in the USA and Ulukaya’s company Chobani is the market leader in this segment, according to Forbes. The 47-year-old is married to Louise Vongerichten, the daughter of French celebrity chef Jean Georges Vongerichten. Ulukaya’s fortune grew from $ 1.6 billion to $ 1.8 billion, the report said.
@imago images / Xinhua
# 4 Hüsnü Özyeğin and Filiz Sahenk
A self-made billionaire also ranks fourth on Turkey’s rich list. According to Forbes, Hüsnü Özyeğin worked as a waiter while studying at Oregon State University. The Harvard Absvolent held a fortune of $ 2.1 billion (1001 worldwide). In 2019, the 76-year-old handed over the management of his Fiba Holding (including financial transactions, retail, real estate, energy) to his daughter and son. Özyeğin shares fourth place with the richest woman in Turkey. Filiz Sahenk (53) heads the fashion and tourism division of the family company Dogus Holding, according to “Forbes”. The company represents brands such as Gucci, Emporio Armai and Tod’s in Turkey. The five-star Aldrovandi Villa Borghese in Rome is one of the hotels under Sahenk’s management. Her father Ayhen founded Dogus. He died in 2001.
# 3 Ferit Şahenk
Ferit Şahenk (56) is the brother of Filiz Şahenk and CEO of Dogus Holding. “Forbes” estimated his fortune at $ 2.3 billion. That was $ 300 million more than in 2019 and ranked 908th among the richest people in the world.
@imago images / Seskim Photo
# 2 Erman Ilicak
Erman Ilicak is one of only two representatives of the top 10 who have lost their wealth compared to the 2019 ranking. According to Forbes, it shrank from $ 3.8 billion to $ 3.1 billion. In mid-October it was only $ 2.5 billion. Ilicak founded Ronesans Holding in 1993. According to the report, the construction company is active in 28 countries and has among other things built the Neva Towers in Moscow. The 53-year-old apparently has good contacts with the Turkish government. On their behalf, the holding is to build twelve large hospitals, as “Forbes” reported. The project is worth $ 4.3 billion.
# 1 Murat Ülker
Murat Ülker is the new number one among the super-rich in Turkey. In 2019, he was behind Ilicak with 3.7 billion dollars. While he lost wealth, Ülker was able to increase his account balance to $ 4.3 billion, according to Forbes. The 61-year-old heads the food and beverage company Yildiz Holding. The prestigious Belgian chocolate brand Godiva has been part of the portfolio since 2007. Ülker was ranked 414 worldwide.