Prominent Turkish businessman İshak Alaton dies at 89
ISTANBULIshak Alaton, the founder and honorary chairman of Alarko Holding, died late on Sept. 11 of heart failure. He was 89.
Alaton was discharged from the hospital where he had been receiving treatment on Sept. 9, company officials said.
Born in 1927 in Istanbul, Alaton attended Şişli Terakki High School until 1942. After graduating from the French Saint Michel High School in 1946, Alaton went to Sweden in 1951 and started his career as a welder at the Motala Locomotive Factory.
He attended night courses during his one-year employment as a welder to learn technical drawing and worked as a draftsman for two years at the same factory.
Alaton returned to Turkey in early 1954. In the same year, he founded Alarko as an ordinary partnership in the small office of Vefai Han in the Karaköy neighborhood of Istanbul, laying the foundations of Alarko Holding together with Üzeyir Garih. Having only two staff members, namely Garih and Alaton, Alarko Holding took its first step into the Turkish industry with central heating services in 1954.
Alaton, who was known for his colorful and courageous personality, served as the chairman of Alarko Holding from 1973, when Alarko became a public-held holding company, to May 2015, when he handed over his duty as chairman to board member İzzet Garih, son of the deceased Üzeyir Garih, with whom he had started the company, and became the honorary chairman of Alarko Holding.
Alaton also served as honorary consul-general of South Africa in Istanbul in 1998-2012 and was awarded the Order of the North Star, First Class, by Sweden and the Order of Civil Merit by Spain.
Alarko is one of Turkey’s leading industrial enterprises with a history of 60 years and operations in five different sectors, 24 subsidiaries, including a joint international venture, 7,000 employees and annual revenues of 2.5 billion Turkish Liras (approximately $840 million), as of the end of last year.