[ More From Oilprice.com: Why Energy Is Vital to Economic Growth ] Most notably, the Koc family own the Tupras refinery, which holds a dominant position in Europe’s fuel market, has managed amazing performance even in the midst of a global economic crisis.
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Middle Eastern and Russian suppliers favor Tupras for these reasons, though Iran has in recent years out-maneuvered Russian to this end.
That said, sanctions against Iran have forced Tupras to diversify somewhat into Saudi, Libyan and Iraqi supplies. They are oligarchs who refrain from directly interfering in the work of the government, while the government agrees to ensure a certain amount of regulatory liberality that will not interfere with the Koc’s continued accumulation of wealth.
To be more specific, Tupras gets to set fuel prices, with the acquiescence of the government, but at the same time, the government makes sure that Tupras supplies the domestic economy first.
Oligarchs are the wealthy few who benefit from the government and for all intents and purposes call the shots behind the scenes.
considers five key oligarchs and oligarch families who will shape the future.
They may not be the most powerful, or even the richest, but their influence is undeniable. Turkey’s oligarchs deserve a place on the list because of the geopolitics of energy and conflict, and you’ve probably never heard of them.
America has its own oligarchs, too; they are just less romanticized and devoid of the newsworthy “bling”, but their political power is no less formidable and the November presidential vote is arguably their playground.
The Koc Family, Courtesy Turkey Let’s start with the most benign, the one you might not have heard of, but which is nonetheless extremely powerful by way of being the owners of the largest conglomerate in a country that holds many keys to near-future geopolitical energy dynamics.
Koc Holdings has its hand in everything from oil refining and banking to car manufacturing and electronics, among other things.
This is Turkey’s wealthiest family, which has always enjoyed government benefits, not the least from the ruling AKP party elite.
Three generations of Koc’s have continued to amass wealth in Turkey, beginning with the family’s founder, Verbi Koc, in the 1920s.