Turkey’s foreign currency shock of August 2018 caused the number of Turkish billionaires to fall on the world’s wealthiest people list. The number of Turkish billionaires featured on the ‘world’s billionaires’ list announced every March by the American business magazine Forbes, went down from 36 to 25. The total wealth of Turkish billionaires also fell by 33.3 percent and dropped from 64.7 billion to 43.1 billion dollars. While the currency shock partly explains why much of their wealth shrank, billionaires were also hit by last year’s economic crisis.

According to the Turkish daily Sözcü, updated data regarding the 2,153-people list demonstrate most Turkish billionaires have undergone a significant loss in their wealth. With the shrinking of Turkey’s construction sector, the wealth of Erman Ilıcak, the owner of Rönesans Holding and the 546th person on the list, dropped from 4 billion dollars to 3.8 billion dollars. Murat Ülker, the chairman of Yıldız Holding Board Chairman, who restructured 6.5 billion dollars of the 8.5 billion dollars of his company’s debt last April, lost 1.1 billion dollars worth of personal wealth. While is personal wealth was estimated at 4.8 billion dollars last year, it is now said to be worth 3.7 billion dollars.

The honorary president of Fiba Holding Hüsnü Özyeğin, who was the third richest Turkish person on last year’s list, saw significant loss as his total wealth went down from 2.9 billion to 2.1 billion dollars.


Osman Kibar, who had been Turkey’s fourth-richest citizen on last year’s list with a fortune worth 2.1 billion dollars, did not feature on this year’s list. The founder and CEO of the American biotechnology company Samumed, Kibar was supplanted this year by Koç Holding board member Semahat Arsel. Yet due to the devaluation of the Turkish lira, Arsel’s total worth fell from 2.6 billion dollars to 2 billion dollars. Doğuş Holding board chairman and CEO Ferit Şahenk maintained place on the list though his total worth dropped from 2.4 billion to 2 billion dollars. Doğuş Holding had announced on the 18th of April that its credits were being restructured. While the net amount was not shared, according to the Holding’s 2018 end-of-year financial statement, the company had 27.8 billion dollars worth of bank loan debt, 86 percent of which were in dollar and euro.


The number of people who enlarged their wealth on the 25 billionaires list was 6. Most earnings were made by Çalık Holding Board Chairman Ahmet Çalık who increased his wealth from 1.6 to 1.9 billion dollars within 7 months, arriving fifth on the Turkish billionaires list. Melih Abdulhayoğlu, the founder of the smart home systems company Comodo, was able to raise his worth by 200 billion while Ciner Group President Turgay Ciner, came 13th on the list, expanding his worth by 100 million dollars to 1.6 billion. MV Holding Honorary President, Murat Vargı came in the 18th place, raising his fortune from 1.2 billion to 1.3 billion while that of LC Waikiki CEO and number 19 Mustafa Küçük went up from 1.1 billion to 1.2 billion and that MNG Companies Group Board Chairman Mehmet Nazif Günal increased from 1 billion to 1.1 billion dollars.