Turkish businesswoman Suna Kıraç

Well-known Turkish businesswoman Suna Kıraç dies after long illness

The famous Turkish businesswoman was the youngest daughter of the founder of the Turkish Koç Holding.

The well-known Turkish businesswoman Suna Kıraç, daughter of the founder of the Turkish Koç Holding, has died after fighting a long battle with a disease – amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS – that had disabled her in recent years, Koç Holding announced on Tuesday in a statement.

The 79-year-old businesswoman, married to Inan Kıraç (a former member of the holding company’s board of directors), was the youngest daughter of Vehbi Koç, the Ankara-born businessman who founded the Koç Holding business conglomerate from several small companies, and ended up becoming one of the richest citizens of Turkey.

Kıraç, who appears on the Forbes list of the 100 richest people in Turkey at No. 13 with a personal fortune estimated at more than 1.3 billion euros, was diagnosed with ALS in 2000 and has fought a long battle ever since with this degenerative neuromuscular disease that progressively paralyses the muscles. One of the most famous ALS patients is the famous physicist Stephen Hawking, who passed away in 2018.

In a statement, the Koç Holding expressed its great sorrow for the death of Suna Kıraç, “who was raised with the values ​​of the Republic and made great contributions to the industry, education, culture and the arts of our country, thanks to her achievements in business and in her social life. We will remember her with her inspiring, visionary and pioneering personality,” the statement said.

Throughout her life as a businesswoman, Suna Kıraç held various positions in the Turkish holding company, including vice president of the board of directors (since 1980), although her origins were more humble when she began working as a secretary for her father when he was still a modest businessman. Among her achievements, she promoted internationally Turkish brands such as Arçelik or Beko; however, her illness forced her to abandon her duties in recent years.