Turkish capitalists resisted against "turbulent period": Forbes

Forbes announced the 100 richest people of Turkey who have "resisted against the turbulent period" and continued increasing their wealth
Friday, 01 March 2019 15:30

Forbes announced its 14th list of "100 Richest Turks". With the impact of the currency crisis in Turkey, it is noted, the number of dollar billionaires decreased to 29 from 40. According to Forbes, the wealth of 101 people among the list of 119 people has slightly decreased but despite the "turbulent period" there are no "serious declines" or "ruined fortunes", so it is not "a sad picture".

"The details of the list show us that the business world generally shows good resistance to this difficult environment, holds steadfastly, creates new business areas and market; in summary, it has managed to take measures to reduce these risks and continue its path in this troubled period," Forbes added.

The details of the list show that, other than the six billionaires of the list who have made their fortunes totally outside of Turkey, all capitalists in the list have increased their wealth, especially during the AKP governments.

Erman Ilıcak, who is listed in the first place, is the owner of the Rönesans Holding, doubled his wealth in two years with the public tenders he won during the AKP government. In January 2019, more than 1,000 workers in the İkitelli City Hospital in İstanbul's Başakşehir constructed by Rönesans Holding had left work against the bad sheltering conditions and unhealthy food.

SoL columnist Oğuz Oyan evaluated the newest list of 100 richest capitalists for soL news. According to Oyan, some of them are known to be in close relationship with the political parties in power. Rönesans, Yıldız, Doğuş, Çalık, Limak, Park, Fiba and Sabancı Holding can be included in this group. They have been favored by the governments in public tender processes and they have been granted privileges in taking advantage of the credit benefits of the banks.

Others have not been presented as the closest allies of the government, however, the process of accumulation of wealth for them has never been restrained by the government. These firms or holdings have also benefited from the mass privatization process in Turkey and include Koç and Eczacıbaşı holdings. 

Oyan also notes that these lists are prepared by taking into account the liquid assets that are cash or that can immediately be converted to cash (term deposits, stocks, bills, bonds, fund shares etc.).

"Other types of wealth/property are excluded. Therefore, those who have invested their wealth in noncash markets and who do not declare their cash capital because it is invested abroad do not enter the list," he added.