Koç family dominates Turkey’s tax champions list
Koç Holding Honorary President Rahmi Koç has outshined Turkey’s top-notch businessmen and media figures to become the country's biggest taxpayer.Koç Holding Honorary President Rahmi Koç has outshined Turkey’s top-notch businessmen and media figures to become the biggest taxpayer, according to the top 100 list that was dominated by his family in 2013 as well.
All top six spots in the ranking have been held by Koç family members, who paid around 120 million Turkish Liras’ worth of income tax to the state in 2013, according to 100 top income tax payers list announced by the Finance Ministry’s Income Administration office.
Billionaire businessman Rahmi Koç has paid nearly 37.5 million liras in income tax and become Turkey’s top taxpayer, outstripping his sister Semahat Sevim Arsel, who ranked second in 2013 after hitting the top for two years since 2011.
Arsel was named as the fifth wealthiest person in Turkey in Forbes magazine’s “100 richest people in Turkey list,” while Rahmi koç was tied at sixth place with Doğuş Holding CEO Ferit Şahenk.
Suna Kıraç, the other sister of Rahmi Koç and Koç Holding Chairman Mustafa Koç have kept their spots from the previous year, ranking third and fourth with 26.9 and 22.6 million paid taxes respectively.
Mustafa Koç’s Koç Holding board members brothers Ali Koç and Ömer Koç followed their family elders at fifth and sixth place on the list.
While Ali Koç, chairman of the group’s Ford-partnered automotive company Ford Otosan, paid 19.3 million liras, his brother Ömer Koç, who serves as the deputy chairman of Koç Holding, has reportedly paid 19.036 million liras.
Şarık Tara, honorary president of the Turkish construction conglomerate ENKA Holding, moved to seventh place in the list from last year’s sixth, paying 14.8 million liras.
While taxpayers that ranked eighth and 10th in the list demanded to be anonymous, Aydın Doğan, founder and honorary president of the Aydın Doğan Foundation, preserved his position as the ninth highest taxpayer in Turkey by paying 11.7 million liras in income tax.
Graft suspects on list
Meanwhile, Mustafa Latif Topbaş, a businessman who was charged in the second wave of the vast graft probe that hit the Turkish government, entered the list at 12th place with 7.4 million liras.
He has become a notable figure after the leaked audio tapes allegedly showed his houses in the Zeytineli village near İzmir’s Aegean coast, which are regularly visited by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, were built illegally.
Another graft probe-hit businessman contractor Ali Ağaoğlu is also on the list at 41st place. Ağaoğlu is among the 60 people whose charges against them have been recently dropped upon the request of a new prosecutor overviewing the case.
Media mogul and comedian among top taxpayers
Prominent Turkish media figures also ranked among Turkey’s top taxpayers as every year.
The country’s ascending television and show business mogul Acun Ilıcalı moved 16 ranks to become 15th highest payer of Turkey, whereas comedian Cem Yılmaz and actor Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ were listed as 73rd and 90th in the ranking.
Koç group was among companies that were slammed by the prime minister for supporting Gezi Park demonstrations that continued throughout the summer in protest at the government’s policies.
Divan Hotel in Taksim, which belongs to the Koç Group, had opened its doors to the Gezi protesters who were exposed to tear gas.
After the Gezi protests, the group’s flagship company, TÜPRAŞ faced a number of tax and quality controls, while a major defense contract to produce national ship awarded to Koç’s marine company was cancelled.
Tax collected from Koç Group in total constitutes 9.4 percent of Turkey’s total tax revenues, Ali Koç had said last year.