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Koç Holding’s Financial Results For The First Half of 2016<p align="justify"> <strong>KOÇ HOLDING POSTS TL 31.1 BILLION CONSOLIDATED TURNOVER AND TL 1.4 BILLION NET PROFIT FOR PARENT COMPANY IN THE FIRST HALF OF 2016</strong><br><br> <strong>KOÇ HOLDING CEO LEVENT ÇAKIROĞLU:</strong><br><strong> “OUR INVESTMENTS TOTALLING TL 30 BILLION IN THE PAST FIVE YEARS FUNCTION AS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT INDICATOR OF OUR STRONG BELIEF IN OUR COUNTRY AND ITS FUTURE. WE SHALL CONTINUE TO PROMOTE OUR COUNTRY’S POTENTIAL WHEREVER WE OPERATE AND THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.”</strong><br><br> Koç Holding has posted a total consolidated turnover of 31.1 billion Turkish liras and net profits of 1.4 billion Turkish liras for the parent company in the first half of 2016. Assessing Koç Holding’s financial results for the first half of 2016, Koç Holding CEO Levent Çakıroğlu says: “Our country has come through quite a challenging period when a coup attempt, a black mark in our political history, targeted the unity and integrity of the Republic of Turkey. It was the belief in democracy held so dear by our nation, state and forces of law that thwarted this attempt. That our country has passed this crucial test of democracy with flying colours is a credit to our nation. I would like to take this opportunity to ask that God rest the souls of the victims, and extend my sympathy to their families as I wish the injured a speedy recovery. We are proud to note the triumph of common sense, unity and harmony in effecting a swift return to normality in the wake of this intolerable coup attempt. The resultant environment of solidarity has opened an enormous window of opportunity in establishing a sustainable social peace. I am convinced that it is now beholden upon all segments of society to behave responsibly; I would also like to reiterate, on behalf of the Koç Group, our readiness to do our duty. Nearly the same age as the Republic of Turkey, our Group has witnessed many a tough period in their common history. With nothing less than totally unshakeable confidence in Turkey, we have always endeavoured to prove to our loyalty to our country through our work and production. Our investments totalling 30 billion Turkish liras in the past five years serve as the most significant indicator of our strong belief in our country and its future. We shall continue to promote our country’s potential wherever we operate and throughout the world.” <br><br> <strong>Levent Çakıroğlu: “Investments ensured our sustained growth in the first half of the year as we continued to contribute to the economy and employment.”</strong><br> Drawing attention to the first half performance of Koç Group companies that continue to serve as driving forces of their industries in Turkish economy, Levent Çakıroğlu remarks: “The first half of 2016 has been characterised by intense political uncertainty, geopolitical risks and market turbulence both in Turkey and abroad. During this period, we have continued to grow and contribute to the economy and employment through a varied portfolio, powerful exporting companies and investments; moreover, our S&P investment grade status is maintained thanks to the solid operational and financial performances of our companies and our strong balance sheet. In line with our global vision we have taken a major step to further fortify Arçelik’s international position. We have signed an agreement to acquire the leading Pakistani home appliances manufacturer. Several investments in the automotive sector made in the past few years have enabled us to launch new models on the market in 2016, and drive the growth in Turkish automotive exports. As we grew profitability in banking, we have also taken the necessary steps to strengthen our capital structure and cash holdings. We have continued to invest in technology as we place enormous value on R&D and innovation; consequently today, three of the Patent League top five are Koç Group companies.” <br><br> <strong>Levent Çakıroğlu: “Responding to strong domestic demand, Tüpraş realised full capacity and grew sales by 12% in the first half of the year.”</strong><br> Remarking on the sales growth of Tüpraş year-on-year, helped also by the Fuel Oil Recycling Facility despite the decline of the net refinery margin in the same period due to the weakening product-price ratios in the Mediterranean market in the first half of the year, Levent Çakıroğlu comments, “Tüpraş achieved total sales of 14.5 M tonnes in the first half of the year, representing a growth of 12% year-on-year. Solid domestic demand grew domestic sales by 23%.”<br><br> <strong>Levent Çakıroğlu: “We have become the driving force of growth in Turkish automotive exports.”</strong><br> “Strong export performance has fostered growth in both turnover and profitability for our automotive companies despite the decline in demand in commercial vehicles in the first half of the year” says Levent Çakıroğlu and continues: “Bolstered by investments and new products, Ford Otosan and Tofaş bucked the trend in the industry and grew their total export figures by 17% and 53% respectively, with exports accounting for nearly 70% of their sales. Koç Group companies have also, in this period, become global players in manufacturing and R&D. As Ford Otosan begins mass production of the new generation Ecotorq lorry engine developed and built entirely in Turkey, Tofaş has given the go-ahead for the production of the Hatchback and Station Wagon models in the Fiat Aegea Project, a Tofaş intellectual and industrial property.” <br><br> <strong>Levent Çakıroğlu: “Arçelik strengthens its position in the global home appliances market.”</strong><br> Remarking on the continued growth in Arçelik’s share on the European home appliances market in the first half of 2016 and its Beko brand’s steady top two position in units sold, Levent Çakıroğlu states: “Solid domestic demand and strong exports have helped Arçelik to grow total turnover by 20% in the first half of the year. In a move consistent with its global growth strategy, Arçelik has also signed an acquisition agreement with Dawlance, Pakistan’s leading home appliances manufacturer in the same period. We have consequently taken a significant step in raising Arçelik’s manufacturing power to eighteen facilities in seven countries.”<br><br> <strong>Levent Çakıroğlu: “Yapı Kredi continues to display a successful performance.”</strong><br> Highlighting Yapı Kredi’s increased profitability in the first half of the year, while maintaining its position in capital, cash holdings and market share, Levent Çakıroğlu continues: “Yapı Kredi’s consolidated net profit (based on Turkish Accounting Standards) has risen by 62% year-on-year to reach 1.55 billion Turkish liras, while cumulative tangible return on equity rose by 433 points on base and reached 14%. Strong profitability, effective capital usage and issuance of a subordinate loan have all contributed to strengthening the bank’s capitalisation. With a sustained focus on digital banking in 2016 and mobile banking leading the way, Yapı Kredi has continued to expand its customer base via digital channels.”<br><br> </p>
To the Attention of the Press and the Public<p align="justify"> The attempted coup that our country faced in the evening of 15 July 2016 has targeted the democratic and constitutional Republic of Turkey, our unity and integrity. <br><br> The belief in democracy held by our nation, state and forces of law has vanquished and overcome this indefensible coup attempt. <br><br> Democracy is the main foundation stone of our Republic, and living under roof of a democratic and constitutional state is the greatest guarantee for the future of our nation. <br><br> We need even more common sense, unity and harmony than ever before for a swift return to normality. <br><br> We would like to express our heartfelt conviction that we will overcome this difficult period as we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our state and our nation. As we ask that God rest the souls of the victims of these events, we would like to extend our sympathy to their families and wish the injured a speedy recovery. <br><br> With our deepest regards, <br> Koç Holding A.Ş. <br><br> </p>
News11<p>​</p><p style="text-align:center;">Moody's and Standard & Poor's (S&P), known for their conservative approach, assigned "investment grade" long-term corporate credit ratings to Koç Holding. Statements from the organizations underlined Koç Holding's accomplished management structure, strong position in diverse industries and geographies, as well as its sound financial position. Mustafa V. Koç, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Koç Holding, said that the company persistently strived to carry out its operations as an exemplary and pioneering institution. He added; "with the ratings received simultaneously from Moody's and S&P, Koç Holding became Turkey's first ever holding company confirmed as "investment grade". As Koç Holding, we are proud to be the pioneering company once again. Positive developments in Turkish economy and successful performances by Turkish companies are creating prospects for our companies to take advantage of the capital markets under better conditions".</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Moody's and Standard & Poor's (S&P), known for their conservative approach, assigned "investment grade" long-term corporate credit rating to Koç Holding. Moody's assigned "Baa3" long-term issuer rating to Koç Holding with a positive outlook, and S&P assigned "BBB-" long-term corporate credit rating with a stable outlook. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"<strong><em>The positive outlook to Koc Holding's investment-grade ratings reflects its strong business operating environment and the leading domestic positions of many of its investments within their respective industries…"</em></strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Statements from both international credit rating agencies emphasized that underlying factors in Koç Holding's accomplishment were effective risk management practices, balanced portfolio structure that is diversified across different industries and geographies, high regard placed on corporate governance, proven management structure and sound financial profile of the company. Also, Moody's commented that the "Positive" outlook assigned to Koç Holding reflected its strong business operating environment and the leading domestic positions of many of its investments within their respective industries. </p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong><em>Mustafa V. Koç; "Positive developments in Turkish economy help create new prospects..."</em></strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;"> "Positive developments in Turkish economy and successful performances by Turkish companies are creating new prospects for our companies to take advantage of the capital markets under better conditions," said, Mustafa V. Koç, Chairman of the Board of Director of Koç Holding, as he talked about the statements from Moody's and S&P. He reminded that Yapı Kredi Bank, Tüpraş and Arçelik completed successful bond issues in international markets in recent months.  Mustafa V. Koç continued, "Private sector bond issues not only allow our companies to borrow under more favorable conditions, but they also make it possible to diversify and extend maturity profiles of external financing. Established track record of successful borrowing by the Turkish Treasury in the last decade also contributes to the interest to Turkish corporate issuers and facilitates access to longer term borrowing."</p><p><strong><em>Mustafa V. Koç; </em></strong><strong>"We are proud to be a pioneering company</strong> <strong>once again…"</strong><strong> </strong></p><p>Mustafa V. Koç said that the company persistently strived to carry out its operations as an exemplary and pioneering institution. "We are proud to be the first Turkish holding company receiving "Investment Grade" rating from Moody's and S&P. "I believe this accomplishment was a result of the leading positions the company enjoys in its areas of business and the growth potential it displays, in addition to its institutional corporate structure, strategic plans it implements, proven business model and effective risk management policies. Koç Group has been focusing on creating value through long-term efforts in its 87 years of history. There is no doubt that the Group's success will set an example for the rest of the country," he continued.​</p>
The Patent Winners Of Turkey<p>​<span style="line-height:1.6;text-align:justify;">Four of the </span><span style="line-height:1.6;text-align:justify;">Koç Group</span><span style="line-height:1.6;text-align:justify;"> companies ranked in the top 10 and the other three companies in the top 30 list in the "Companies with the Highest Number of Domestic Patent Applications in 2013" ranking of the </span><span style="line-height:1.6;text-align:justify;">Turkish Patent Institute</span><span style="line-height:1.6;text-align:justify;">. Koç Group</span><span style="line-height:1.6;text-align:justify;"> companies made a total of 400 patent applications in 2013. This figure was 310 the year before. A</span><span style="line-height:1.6;text-align:justify;">rçelik was at the top of the list with 193 patent applications, followed by Ford Otosan at the second spot with 80. Tofaş was number six with 48 patent applications and Türk Traktör was number nine with 20 applications. According to the patent application ranking, the other Koç Group companies in the top-30 list were; Otokar (11), Arçelik- LG (16) and Tüpraş (26). </span></p><p><span style="line-height:1.6;text-align:justify;"></span><strong style="line-height:1.6;text-align:justify;"><br> </strong><strong style="line-height:1.6;text-align:justify;">"Quality is just as important as the quantity of patent applications."</strong><strong style="line-height:1.6;text-align:justify;"> <br></strong><span style="line-height:1.6;text-align:justify;"><br>We have long been implementing the Intellectual Property Rights Strategy, pioneered by us in Turkey when we put it in writing in 2012. We have also been applying the Intellectual Property Rights Management Project for the past four years. Both initiatives have played significant roles in the success of our companies.  We acted on with the objective of bestowing our Group companies with the ability to manage their own intellectual property rights on their own and to carry out their work according to international standards. We are happy to see that they have achieved this goal," said CEO of Koç Holding Turgay Durak as he assessed the success of Koç Group companies in the Turkish Patent Institute ranking.  Durak asserted that quality is just as important as the quantity of patent applications. "All patent applications are evaluated by the Intellectual Property Rights Committees, which have been established in our companies, and applications are made only for innovations considered to have strategic and licensing potential and which will be used on the product directly."</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong style="line-height:1.6;"><br>Turgay Durak: We account for nearly 10 percent of all R&D spending in the private sector.</strong><span style="line-height:1.6;"> <br></span><span style="line-height:1.6;"><br>Turgay Durak stressed the need to invest in new technologies for the future of our country's economy. He mentioned that Koç Group places the utmost importance on science and technology and that they continuously develop their efforts in this field on a company basis. "The highest number of R&D activities in Turkey takes place within our Group and we have 14 R&D centers that have been approved by the Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology.  A total of 3397 technical personnel, of whom 2553 are engineers with bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees, and 844 are technicians work in our R&D centers. We announced that our R&D spending totaled 2.7 billion Turkish lira for the past five years. We are proud to have added 677 million Turkish lira to this figure in 2013. The total number accounts for nearly 10 percent of total private sector R&D spending. Koç Group companies have achieved high rankings in the Turkish Patent Institute's list thanks to these efforts," said Turgay Durak. Turgay Durak expressed that as of 2013, the intellectual property rights portfolio of Koç Group included over 2,500 patent families as well as more than 5,500 patents, over 6,500 brands, over 700 designs and more than 4,000 Internet domains. He added that this is the largest intellectual property rights portfolio in Turkey and in the region.</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong style="line-height:1.6;"><br>Koç Group companies' rankings in the "Companies with the Highest Number of Domestic Patent Applications in 2013" list:</strong><span style="line-height:1.6;"> <br></span><strong style="line-height:1.6;"><br>Arçelik</strong><strong style="line-height:1.6;">             </strong><span style="line-height:1.6;">: </span><strong style="line-height:1.6;">Number 1</strong><span style="line-height:1.6;">; 193 patent applications</span></p><p><strong>Ford Otosan</strong><strong>    </strong>: <strong>Number 2</strong>; 80 patent applications</p><p><strong>Tofaş</strong><strong>               </strong>: <strong>Number 6</strong>; 48 patent applications</p><p><strong>Türk Traktör</strong><strong>    </strong>: <strong>Number 9</strong>; 20 patent applications </p><p><strong>Otokar</strong><strong>            </strong> :<strong> Number 11</strong><strong>:</strong> 16 patent applications (four companies share the number 11 spot in the list)</p><p><strong>Arçelik-LG</strong><strong>       </strong> :<strong> Number 16</strong>; 13 patent applications (two companies share the number 16 spot in the list)</p><p><strong>Tüpraş</strong><strong>            </strong> :<strong> Number 26</strong>; 10 patent applications (five companies share the number 26 spot in the list)</p>
News33<p>​</p><p style="text-align:center;">Koç Holding posted consolidated sales revenues of 13.6 billion Turkish lira in the first quarter of 2013 with 619 million Turkish lira pre-tax profits and 452 million Turkish lira net profits after minority interest.  "Koç Group will focus on risk management and austerity measures while maintaining sustainable growth strategies for the remainder of the year at a time of political and economic stress in Europe and turmoil in nearby countries." said Turgay Durak, CEO of Koç Holding.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">While assessing the results for the first quarter of 2013, Mr. Durak said that loan demand improved as a result of low interest rates, combined with the increased confidence in the country's economy. This, in return, triggered the demand, especially in durable and semi-durable consumer goods. Turgay Durak stated that Koç Group expected the growth in Turkish economy to be based mainly on domestic demand in 2013. "We project that net exports' contribution to growth will be limited as rising domestic demand will increase imports and our export markets have not completely pulled through," he said. Turgay Durak drew attention to the continuing uncertainty in the European economy of late, as well as to rising political conflict in nearby regions. He said Koç Group would maintain foreign risk management and austerity measures in the short term. </p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong><em> </em></strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong><em> </em></strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong><em> </em></strong><strong><em>"We keep investing at full steam..."</em></strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Turgay Durak said that despite of all the fragility in the European economy and the turmoil surrounding the nearby region, Koç Group perseveres with its long-term sustainable growth strategies through investments and practices that produce employment.  "We strive to make the highest possible contribution to our country while aiming to use our resources in the best possible way to create continuous high return investments for our country and the stakeholders. Combined investment of 6.8 billion Turkish lira that we planned for 2013 is going ahead at full speed" he said. Turgay Durak pointed out the significance of 2013 in terms of investments for Koç Group companies. "Tüpraş and Ford Otosan in particular are going through a substantial investment period. The $2.4 billion residuum upgrade project of Tüpraş is currently 65 percent complete, with $1.55 invested in the first quarter of 2013. The project is scheduled for completion by November 2014 and will produce 3.5 million tons of high quality white product. When the Tüpraş refineries are working at full capacity, Tüpraş will produce a significant portion of Turkey's need for diesel fuel, which is mostly met by foreign resources.  Following the Ford Transit Custom model that was introduced by Ford Otosan last year, work for the New Transit is under way for the end of 2013. In addition, developments and new facility investments for the new commercial vehicles will be carried out throughout the year ahead of the start of production in 2014. Tofaş is maintaining its efforts to export Doblo to the US," said Mr. Durak. </p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong><em>"Momentous global initiatives..."</em></strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Turgay Durak commented on how Koç Group's pioneering and exemplary works have been crowned with momentous accomplishments in the international arena. He reiterated the achievement of international credit rating agencies S&P and Moody's assigning Koç Holding's long-term corporate credit rating.  He called attention to the fact that both agencies have raised Koç Holding's long-term corporate credit rating to "Investment grade." "We are enormously proud for being the first Turkish company to have been deemed worthy of this rating. Statements from both international credit rating agencies declared that the underlying factors in Koç Holding's accomplishment were effective risk management practices, a balanced portfolio structure that the company enjoys as a result of its robust presence in diverse industries and geographies, importance placed on corporate management strategies, a proven management structure and the solid financial profile of the company," he said.  Turgay Durak also commented on the $750 million that Koç Holding borrowed through a dollar-denominated Eurobond issuance with a seven year term. "We set an example for Turkish companies once again as a result of the issuance with the best price at this maturity length." he added.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong><em>"Results that make a difference..."</em></strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Turgay Durak remarked that Koç Group companies have made strides towards growth by strengthening their positions in Turkey as well as in foreign markets. Mr Durak talked about the worldwide attention the Turkish banking industry has received in spite of challenging global economic conditions. "Yapı Kredi maintained sustainable and profitable growth in the first quarter of the year, increasing its profits by 31 percent year-on-year." he told.   Turgay Durak stressed the advancements Arçelik has made on the way to becoming a leader in many of the countries it operates in. "Arçelik successfully showed growth in all of the countries it operates in. Beko has been successful in increasing its market share the most based on the number of items sold in Western Europe. Arçelik maintained its place as the market leader in Romania, in addition to remaining market leader in South Africa with the Defy brand" Mr. Durak stated. "Koç Group companies are becoming globalized through investment." said Turgay Durak. He added, "Otokar is a great example as it is covering a lot ground on the way to becoming a global brand in the defense industry whilst celebrating its 50th anniversary. It exports military vehicles to nearly 30 countries in five continents."  Turgay Durak stated that Tofaş distributed dividend in the amount of 480 million Turkish lira, the highest figure ever in its history. "Moreover the Linea model by Tofaş has remained as the most preferred automobile brand in Turkey, while Doblo secured its place as the best selling light commercial vehicle," Mr. Durak said. </p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong><em>"Koç Fest University Sports Games of Turkey hosted 20,000 student athletes in competitions..."</em></strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Turgay Durak said that 20,000 athletes from 185 universities competed in 44 events in the Koç Fest University Sports Games of Turkey sponsored by Koç Group. "The final competitions held between April 15 and May 12 gave us a glimpse of the Olympic spirit this year. Student athletes from universities would give us the greatest honor if they win medals in the 2020 Olympics," he said. </p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong><em>"Health Sciences Campus at the Vehbi Koç Foundation is set to become one of the biggest projects of Turkey in its field..."</em></strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Turgay Durak pointed out the Vehbi Koç Foundation as a crucial part of the Koç Group and reminded us the work that it has completed to bolster the development of our country, as well as setting the best examples and creating solutions for social needs. He underlined that the first phase of construction in the Koç University School of Medicine Health Sciences Campus continued in the first quarter of 2013. "The Health Sciences Campus will include a Medical Faculty as well as a Training and Research Hospital, emerging as one of the biggest projects of its kind in Turkey. After the completion of the first phase of construction in 2014, which will include the faculty and the hospital, our students will continue their education in the Health Sciences Campus in Topkapı. We will have provided the country with a very valuable service when the second phase of the project has been completed, with the nursing school and accommodation for the nurses and academics are also opened.   </p><p style="text-align:justify;">​ </p>
Prof. Zeynep Çelik is the recipient Vehbi Koç Award in the field of “Culture”.<p style="text-align:justify;">The recipient of the 13<sup>th</sup> <a href="http://www.vehbikocodulu.com/">Vehbi Koç Award</a> was announced at the award ceremony attended by the members of the entire Koç family, and guests. Among the three candidates nominated by the Selection Committee headed by Prof. Şevket Pamuk, Vehbi Koç Foundation Board of Directors chose <strong>Prof. Zeynep Çelik</strong> as the recipient of the 13<sup>th</sup> Vehbi Koç Award for her remarkable work in the field of culture and history. Mustafa V. Koç, Chairman of Koç Holding, presented the award to Prof. Zeynep Çelik who will also receive $100,000 as a financial reward.<br><span style="line-height:1.6;"><br>In the speech he delivered at the 13</span><sup>th</sup><span style="line-height:1.6;"> Vehbi Koç Commemoration and Award Ceremony, </span><strong style="line-height:1.6;">Mustafa V. Koç</strong><span style="line-height:1.6;">, </span><span style="line-height:1.6;">Chairman of Koç Holding, pointed out that numerous individuals and institutions in Turkey, like the Vehbi Koç Foundation, strive everyday to add value to the society, and continued "It has become the principle of our Foundation to ensure that such exemplary work is recognized and promoted." Adding that the </span><a href="http://www.vehbikocodulu.com/" style="line-height:1.6;">Vehbi Koç Award </a><span style="line-height:1.6;">is given out annually in one of Vehbi Koç Foundation's three main fields of activity, education, culture, and healthcare, respectively, and that </span><strong style="line-height:1.6;">Prof. Zeynep Çelik</strong><span style="line-height:1.6;"> has been chosen for this year's award for her invaluable work in the field of culture, Mustafa V. Koç said: "Prof. Çelik is a historian that has contributed immensely to the Ottoman urban, cultural and intellectual history in the last thirty years; and while doing that she has broken the introverted nature of the Ottoman historiography, which it was often confined to, and opened it to a much wider audience."<br></span><span style="line-height:1.6;"><br><strong>Mustafa V. Koç: "If Vehbi Koç were here today, he would say 'Hold tight to your business. Don't stray from what you know is right. Hardships come and go. What's important is the business and the values that keep this business together'."</strong></span></p><p style="text-align:justify;">"This is the eighteenth anniversary of the passing of Vehbi Koç, the founder of our group. It is also the thirteenth year that we are giving out the Vehbi Koç Award that we have established to recognize and honor individuals and institutions with outstanding contributions to the development of Turkey and Turkish people. We remember Vehbi Koç every single day. This Group is his legacy and carries his mark in each and every corner. Love for our country, our hard work, the importance we place on institutionalization, superior work ethics, always striving to outperform ourselves, the principle of doing good for our country and for humankind, these are all Vehbi Koç's legacy and they light our path."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Mustafa V. Koç said that while preparing his speech, he remembered Vehbi Koç even more in these turbulent times that we are all going through, and continued: "We asked ourselves, 'What would Vehbi Koç recommend if he were alive?' If Vehbi Koç were here today, I think he would say 'Hold tight to your business. Don't stray from what you know is right. Hardships come and go. What's important is the business and the values that keep this business together'."<br><span style="line-height:1.6;"><br><strong>Mustafa V. Koç: "We have always been interested and involved in our country's issues with objectivity, and we will continue to be so in the future too."</strong></span></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Mentioning that despite many developments in Turkey, some issues and weaknesses sadly tend to repeat themselves, Mustafa V. Koç added: "As a developing country, we have experienced many ebbs and flows both in democracy and economy during this journey. It is highly probable that we will face such challenges in the future as well. In order to minimize the implications of these fluctuations, we have taken universal values and the principles of institutionalization as our anchor, and we have continued to work and do our best.  While doing that we have never entered into the daily political debates and always remained objective. However, this country belongs to us and it is our duty to protect this beautiful country that is the pillar of our strength. We have always been interested and involved in our country's issues with objectivity, and we will continue to be so in the future too."<br><span style="line-height:1.6;"><br><strong>Mustafa V. Koç: "We will always protect and be faithful to the values that our founder has entrusted us with."</strong></span></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Mustafa V. Koç pointed out that in his memoirs titled "Hayat Hikayem" (1973), the late Vehbi Koç talked in his own modest style about all of his achievements, which seemed impossible to undertake in a lifetime, his challenges and successes, as if they were very easily accomplished. He continued, "But you know that there are months and sometimes years of work, discussions, and negotiation processes behind each success. One of the best examples of this is the fact that he worked relentlessly for twenty years to create Vehbi Koc Foundation, which as an institution has been serving our country for 45 years and which brings us together today. As I remember our founder with love and respect, I would like to emphasize that we will always protect and be faithful to the values that our founder has entrusted us with."<br><span style="line-height:1.6;"><br><em>Prof. Zeynep Çelik: An Architectural Historian with immense contributions to Ottoman, urban and cultural history in the last 30 years</em></span></p><p style="text-align:justify;">A short film including sections from Prof. Çelik's life was shown during the award ceremony; in her acceptance speech Prof. Zeynep Çelik said that she was very honored to receive the 13<sup>th</sup> Vehbi Koç Award. "My generation has played an important role in expanding the breadth of architectural history, in stretching and pulling it toward unexpected directions, and approaching from a critical point of view.  I am quite proud to be considered a part of this movement. A special contribution that my works have provided is to underline intercultural relationships. I believe I have established that the late period Ottoman Empire is an important part of modernity, which is always attributed to the West. This is now a widely recognized phenomenon."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">After graduating from Istanbul Technical University, Department of Architecture with B. Arch. in 1975, she received her M. Arch. degree from Rice University, and Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley. In 1991 she started teaching at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Department of Architecture and Design, where she continues as distinguished professor, while she carries on her studies and research.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">She published her first book "The Remaking of Istanbul: Portrait of an Ottoman City in the Nineteenth Century" in 1986 for which she won the Institute of Turkish Studies Book Award. The book is considered the first significant and systematic work on the urban architecture in the Ottoman period. Prof. Zeynep Çelik was awarded a Doctor Honoris Causa degree by the Bosporus University in 2013 for her unique and pioneering work in the fields of Ottoman urban, cultural and intellectual history.<br><span style="line-height:1.6;"><br><strong>About Vehbi Koç Foundation</strong></span></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Founded on January 17, 1969 by the late Mr. Vehbi Koç, one of the most prominent Turkish industrialists, <strong>Vehbi Koç Foundation</strong> is celebrating its 45<sup>th</sup> anniversary with the rightful pride of having contributed dozens of institutions to Turkey and supporting tens of thousands of students. Aiming to contribute to a modern and growing country since its inception as the <strong>first private foundation in Turkey</strong>, the Foundation is committed to delivering pioneering and exemplary services that will improve the society's quality of life in the areas <strong>of education, health,</strong> and <strong>culture. </strong>To date, Vehbi Koç Foundation has provided Turkey with 28 educational, six healthcare and six cultural institutions, and also supported hundreds of projects. In addition to the scholarships offered through <strong>educational institutions</strong>, the number of students supported by the foundation with direct scholarships has reached 45 thousand in 45 years. Further information about Vehbi Koç Foundation can be found at <a href="http://www.vkv.org.tr/">www.vkv.org.tr</a> .<br><strong style="line-height:1.6;"><em><br>About Vehbi Koç Award:</em></strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Aiming to recognize and reward exemplary services that add value to the society, the <strong>Vehbi Koç Award</strong> is given out annually in the areas of education, healthcare, and culture since 2002. Worth $100,000, it is the highest financial award given out in Turkey. The previous recipients of the award are:</p><ul><li>2002 - <strong>Topkapı Palace Museum </strong>for their invaluable cultural activities</li><li>2003 - <strong>Mother Child Education Foundation</strong> (AÇEV) for their successful educational initiatives</li><li>2004 - <strong>Bilkent University School of Sciences, Department of Biology and Genetics</strong> for their contributions to healthcare</li><li>2005 - <strong>Fazıl Hüsnü Dağlarca</strong> in literature, as a sub-category of culture,</li><li>2006 - <strong>Nuri Okutan, the then Governor of Sakarya</strong> for his contributions to pre-school education during his career</li><li>2007 – <strong>Prof. Aziz Sancar</strong> in the area of health for his globally recognized studies on the Molecular Mechanisms of DNA Repair and Regulation of the Biological Clock</li><li>2008 - <strong>Prof. Mehmet Özdoğan</strong> for his contributions to prehistoric archaeology in the Marmara Region</li><li>2009 - <strong>Prof. Türkan Saylan</strong> for her life-long commitment to education</li><li>2010 - <strong>Prof. Turgay Dalkara</strong> for his international achievements in cerebrovascular diseases</li><li>2011 - <strong>Prof. Filiz Ali,</strong> regarded the most productive and influential musical authority, musicologist and music critic in Turkey, and the <strong>Ayvalık International Music Academy</strong> (AIMA) she founded as an institution that not only empowers young musicians by opening new horizons but is also recognized both locally and internationally as a successful transformation project.</li><li>2012 - <strong>Prof. Nermin Abadan Unat</strong>, known as the "Master of masters" who taught Political Science to hundreds of students and academicians, for being a prominent scholar and pioneering researcher in the field of "Women" and "International Migration".</li><li>2013 - <strong>Prof. Gökhan Hotamışlıgil</strong> for his discoveries that completely changed the medical world's perception of metabolic diseases </li></ul>

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