Founder & History
Founder and Chairman of Aksoy Holding, Erdal Aksoy, was born in 1943 in Trabzon, as the second eldest of seven siblings. He started to work with his father Osman Aksoy when he was around the age of 7. His father was a merchant of lumber, wood and coal, active in Erzurum and nearby cities of Turkey. After the family moved to Istanbul at the end of 1940s, Erdal Aksoy started to travel between Istanbul and Erzurum supporting his father in the family business. Erdal Aksoy went to primary and secondary school in Sarıyer and then to Kabataş High School after which he attended and graduated from the Istanbul Technical University with a M.Sc. degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering in 1966.
Erdal Aksoy started his business life engaging in small construction projects with his elder brother Erol Aksoy. Then, he opened a gas station in 1971 as a Mobil Oil dealer/franchisee in the Sarıyer district of Istanbul. After significantly increasing the sales volumes in this gas station, he opened another one in the Rumelifeneri area in Sarıyer with the intention to sell higher volumes to fisherman boats. He succeeded in this, and as a next step he decided to go into shipping business leveraging his extensive relationship with Mobil Oil Turkey. He bought a small tanker carrying oil products for the Mobil Oil company first nationwide later globally. In ten years, he successfully grew the business becoming one of the largest ship-owners in Turkey with 14 vessels including chemical tankers, large and medium size dry cargo vessels, and RoRo vessels (the very first ones in Turkey). He gathered all of his shipping companies under the umbrella of Aksoy Holding which he founded in 1978. It was late 1978 when Erdal Aksoy achieved to become one of the top five individual tax payers in Turkey for the first time. Erdal Aksoy sold his fleet at the top of the market in mid 1980s when he decided to focus on the oil business.
Erdal Aksoy established an oil products marketing, storage and transportation company in 1983 under the name Enak Marketing Storage and Transportation. This was a 50-50 joint venture between Aksoy Holding and Enka Holding. Enak conducted high volumes of oil trading business between Iran, Iraq and Turkey throughout 1983 and 1991, i.e. till the beginning of the first Gulf War. During this period, Enak not only was awarded numerous times as one of the highest corporate tax payers in Turkey but also provided record amounts of foreign currency entry to the country. Enka Holding's 50% shares in Enak were acquired by Aksoy Holding in 1991, and this company was restructured as Aksoy Holding's construction subsidiary in 2005, and later as the international trade subsidiary in 2010 under its current title Aksoy International.
Besides the marketing of oil products, Erdal Aksoy, with his local partners, established Tabas Petroleum in 1980, a fuel distribution company, the company known today as Turcas Petrol. Tabas was established in the form of a venture capital by approximately 800 gas station owners/franchisees of various distribution companies. Under Erdal Aksoy’s leadership, Tabas grew speedily and 25% of the company was acquired by Conoco Petroleum Inc. of USA in 1995. In 1996, with its strengthened shareholding, Tabas acquired Turcas Petroleum. Erdal Aksoy merged Tabas Petroleum and Turcas Petroleum in 1999 under the name Turcas Petrol. Erdal Aksoy and his family’s shares in Turcas Petrol were injected as equity-in-kind into Aksoy Holding in 2005, the year when Aksoy Holding also acquired the shares of ConocoPhillips in Turcas, reaching the current majority ownership level (%51.55). Turcas merged its fuel retail operations with that of Shell Turkey in 2006 under a new joint venture company, Shell & Turcas Petrol, the fifth largest company by revenues in Turkey, according to Capital Magazine, as of 20013-end. Turcas owns 30% of Shell & Turcas where the remaining 70% is owned by Shell Turkey, a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell. Turcas Petrol, the flagship company of Aksoy Holding, has direct and indirect majority or minority ownership stakes in 15 subsidiaries in the oil and energy sector. Turcas Petrol shares are traded on Borsa Istanbul (BIST:TRCAS) since 1992. Turcas is a diversified, energy focused investment company and is unique in Turkey with its strategy to grow in long term partnerships with top-notch international energy companies in value creating projects.
While Chairing the Boards of Aksoy Holding, Aksoy International, Turcas Petrol and its wholly-owned subsidiaries such as Turcas Energy Holding, Turcas Power Generation, Turcas Power Trading, Turcas Gas and Turcas Wind, Erdal Aksoy is also a Board Member of Shell & Turcas Petrol and RWE & Turcas Güney Power Generation.
In addition to his involvement in the oil and energy business, Erdal Aksoy, together with his brother Erol Aksoy started investing in the growing tourism and real estate sectors of Turkey in late 1980s. Two brothers established Yeditepe International Hotels in 1988, partnered with Hilton Hotels Corp. of USA, International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Turkish Republic Pension Fund and the Social Securities Corporation, and built the largest hotel in Turkey; the 5-star, then 670-key, upper-tier Conrad Istanbul overlooking the Bosphorus. Conrad Istanbul started operations in 1992 and continues to be the crown-jewel tourism and real estate investment under Aksoy Holding.
Under Erdal Aksoy’s leadership, Aksoy Holding expanded its business activities into the vibrant Turkish banking sector by acquiring PASHA Bank in 2013.
Besides his prominent and respected entrepreneurial business life, Erdal Aksoy has always been active in a number of non-governmental and governmental organizations with the intention to serve his nation and fellow citizens.
Erdal Aksoy served as the President of the Turkish Ship-owners Union Association between 1980 and 1985. He chaired the Chemical Materials and LPG Transportation Department of the Chamber of Sea Commerce between 1982 and 1986, and was a Board Member of the Turkish Employers Union Association during 1986.
Erdal Aksoy served his local community as the President of the Sarıyer Sports Club between 1976 and 1990 when its soccer division went through the most successful years in the Turkish premier league and won the European Balkans Championship.
For a certain period, Erdal Aksoy was involved in politics. He served as the President of the Sarıyer Provincial Branch of the Motherland Party (ANAP) between 1989 and 1993, and afterwards as the President of the Istanbul Branch of ANAP between 1993 and 1997.
Erdal Aksoy is one of the principle founders of the Eduard Shevardnadze Turkey-Georgia Cooperation Foundation and the Turkish-Georgian Education and Culture Foundation. He is a member of TUSIAD, Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association since 1998, and a member of the High Advisory Board of TESEV, Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation since 2000. Erdal Aksoy has been a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Azerbaijan Diplomacy Academy (ADA) since 2013.
Awards honored to Erdal Aksoy include;
- Gold Medals for being one of the Top 5 Individual Income Tax Payers nationwide between 1978 and 1980 by the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce,
- Various Medals and Certificates of Appreciation by the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce and Chamber of Sea Commerce between 1980 and 1985 for providing Record Amounts of Foreign Currency Entry to the Country, and
- Numerous Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals and Certificates of Appreciation by the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce in 1996, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 for making the Highest Level of Corporate Tax Payments in Istanbul and nationwide through the companies he owns, chairs or serves in the Boards of.
Erdal Aksoy speaks English and is married to Belkıs Aksoy since 1974. Erdal and Belkıs Aksoy are recognized as art lovers with a distinguished collection of Hüseyin Avni Lifij and Timur Kerim İncedayı paintings. They have two children; Banu Aksoy Tarakçıoğlu (1975) and Batu Aksoy (1977). Both Banu Aksoy Tarakçıoğlu and Batu Aksoy are shareholders and Executive Board Members of Aksoy Holding and run the company together with Erdal Aksoy.
Aksoy Holding plans to increase its Net Asset Value by continuing to invest and expand its operations in the Oil & Energy, Tourism & Real Estate, International Trade, and Banking sectors.