Turkish businessman Ali Sabancı awarded France’s highest honor
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
France on Feb. 13 honored Turkish businessman Ali Sabancı with the highest French honor, “l’Ordre national de la Légion d’Honneur” (The National Order of the Legion of Honor), due to his contributions to bilateral economic relations between Turkey and France.
French Ambassador to Ankara Charles Fries and Consul General of France to Istanbul Bertrand Buchwalter hosted the ceremony held at the Palais de France in Istanbul.
Fries presented Légion d’Honneur to Ali Sabancı for his “devoted works to improve relations between France and Turkey.” Sabancı is chairman of the board at Pegasus Airlines and a member of the board of directors at Esas Holding.
“We are ready to do our best to improve the investments of Esas Holding in France. I would like to see more economic cooperation between France and Turkey and see your company [Esas Holding] strengthening its presence in my country,” Fries said.
Fries said three members of the Sabancı family currently hold La Légion d’Honneur and expressed his gratitude to the Sabancı family, “who has always had good relations with France.”
Ali Sabancı said he is glad to have the third Légion d’Honneur in the family and spoke about the activities of Pegasus Airlines.
“If this award was given to a company, it would be Pegasus Airlines, which has achieved great success in just above 10 years. It serves 30 million guests every year, which means one out of every three people use Pegasus Airlines,” he said.
Sabancı also added that Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was among the holders of La Légion d’Honneur.
In addition to members of the Sabancı family, the founder and honorary chairman of Doğan Holding Aydın Doğan and his wife Sema Doğan, Doğan Online Founder and Hepsiburada Chairperson Hanzade Doğan Boyner, vice president of the executive board of Koç Holding Ali Koç, and United States Consul General to Istanbul Jennifer Davis also attended the ceremony.
La Légion d’Honneur was established by Napoléon Bonaparte in 1802 for military and civil merits to honor the extraordinary services of people.