Ankara, January 21, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Manolis Kostidis
The death of Mustafa Koç, president of the largest industrial, commercial and banking Group in Turkey, can as a shock to the Turkish public.
Koç died at the age of 55 from an acute heart attack.
He and his Group had a big dispute with Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the clashes in Gezi, in June 2013. Koç had given the order to open the gates of the hotel Divan which is under his controls, in order to provide shelter to protesters who were being chased by the police. After threats from Erdogan and several ministers of AKP’s, many tax fines had been imposed, mainly to the refineries of the Group.
Last month, AKP members had argued that Turkey officially does not buy oil from the Islamic State, but directed suspicions to Koç, who has refinery in the city Batman of Southeastern Turkey.
“We lost Mustafa Koc from the complications of an acute heart attack, he suffered at his home, despite the doctors’ best efforts”, said to reporters a doctor of the American Hospital, which is being managed by the Koç family Foundation. In the same hospital has been hospitalized several times the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed his condolences to the Koç family and said “he is sorry for the death of Mustafa Koç”.
He suffered a myocardial infarction while exercising
According to his family, the president and CEO of Koç Group lost consciousness during a training exercise at home.
He was Immediately taken to the state hospital in Beikoz district where for 40 minutes the doctors tried to revive him. There was a desperate attempt to transport him by helicopter to the American hospital where he passed away.
In 2015 Mustafa Koç had undergone a gastric band surgery and lost nearly 40 kg.
He took the reins of the Group from his father Rahmi Koç in 2003. It is one of the oldest and most powerful Groups in the country, founded in the early 20s by his grandfather Rahmi Koç. The Koç Group has a strong presence in the car industry like FIAT and FORD, while it controls the largest private bank in the country, Yapi Kredi. The group has almost 100 companies from the energy sector to supermarkets. The turnover of the Group reaches 10% of the Turkish gross national product. The great strength of the group is the Tüpraş refinery, which at the same time proved to be its “Achilles heel” as this is where the Turkish government imposed all tax fines.
Members of the Prosecution Economics Crime Division accompanied by 20 policemen had invaded the refinery’s premises and conducted thorough tests.
At the same time, in 2015 was canceled the order for the shipbuilding of six corvettes of the Turkish Navy, which were to be built at the shipyards at shipyards that belong to the KOC Group. An commission of EUR 1.5 bn.
The official excuse was that there were objections from competitor companies as for the building of the ships had been invited only two companies and there hadn’t been an open competition. The contracts were signed in January 2013, but the complaints were filed in 2014.
Mustafa Koç was the father of two girls, Esra and Aylin.
The group has many successors, with the two brothers of Mustafa Koç, the 48-year old Ali Koç and the 53-year old Mehmet Omer Koç, appearing as the most likely candidates.