Even if it has become synonymous with the words ‘politics’, the ‘state’ and ‘bureaucracy’, Ankara has also produced powerful businessmen who oversee huge turnovers. Moreover, some of these businessmen have recently caught the eye with their agility in privatization tenders and their investment drives in energy and tourism. Using this as a starting point we identified the 25 Ankara businessmen who are currently the most powerful and are active in different sectors from energy to industry.
Ankara is the heart of the state administration and the bureaucracy. Perhaps it is, perhaps because of these special characteristics, that it has always been regarded as being somewhat stuffy. Ankara businessmen also tend to get painted with the same brush. Perhaps because most of them do business with the state or, to use a more common expression, are contracted to the state, Ankara businessmen have always avoided the public gaze. This is the reason they are not very keen on appearing in the media. But this attitude is not confined to those businessmen who are involved in contracting. It also holds true for Ankara industrialists …
This characteristic has become virtually a common feature of the Ankara businessmen who for nearly half a century played the pioneering role in the industrialization of the Turkish Republic and offered their services to the state. When we talk about services to the state, we are referring to the fact that the vast majority of these businessmen have been responsible for many infrastructure and superstructure projects in the country from energy to transportation to irrigation.
While we were trying to draw up a list of the most powerful businessmen in Ankara we took into account their turnovers, the number of personnel employed, their exports and growth trends. For this reason the table we have produced shows not so much their turnover as their ‘influence in the business world’. We sought the views of the business community and tried to draw up a league table taking into account these businessmen’s most recent investments and their plans for the future,
Construction is the locomotive sector
It is striking that almost all of the owners of powerful holdings which have been operating for over half a century in Ankara started off in the construction sector. Businessmen who are active in the construction sector account for a large proportion of the names in Capital’s list of ‘most powerful’ businessmen in the city. In fact, this is perfectly natural, because all of the institutions which spend the state budget are based in Ankara. In recent years most Ankara businessmen have developed the construction companies that they founded in the 1960s, converted them into holdings and entered other sectors. The most popular sectors for these businessmen are tourism and energy.
But construction is still the locomotive sector. In Turkey as a whole, the giants of the sector which have been responsible for major projects have all emerged from the capital.
Prof. İhsan Doğramacı and Nurettin Çarmıklı are the names at the head of the two most powerful holdings in Ankara.