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Terzioglu Awarded for Release of Journalists in Iran

Image Uğur Terzioğlu, chairman of the Turkish-American Business Association (TABA/AmCham), was officially recognized Saturday with the title of honorary member of the Diplomaten International (DMW e.V.) for his role in facilitating the release of two German journalists who had been detained in Iran for over four months.
 

The two journalists, Marcus Hellwig and Jens Koch were detained by the Iranian government on a slew of serious charges including espionage and attempting to undermine Iranian national security. “I was contacted by DMW managers who were given my name by the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany,” said Terzioğlu at an organization in İstanbul Saturday arranged by the Aspen Institute Italia. “They were told that I was someone who might be able to assist in negotiating the release of the journalists.” “The two journalists did nothing wrong,” said Mr. Terzioğlu, who was able to learn through connections that the journalists had been charged with entering the country with tourist visas and not journalistic visas. “They probably would have spent nine months or more in prison pending trial had their release not been negotiated.”

Forbes Turkey Selects the 100 Wealthiest Turks, Karamehmet Tops The List

Image Forbes Turkey magazine has released its "Top 100 Wealthiest Turks" list for 2011. The magazine said that the total fortunes of Turkey’s 100 richest people had increased from last year’s 87 billion USD to 104 billion USD this year. Mehmet Emin Karamehmet, with his fortune reaching 4 billion USD, topped this year’s list. The businessman’s total wealth amounted to 2.9 billion USD in 2010.

Semahat Arsel from Turkey’s leading Koc family, whose fortune has grown to 3 billion USD, and last year’s wealthiest Husnu Ozyegin, chairman of Turkish conglomerate Fiba Holding, shared the second position in the ranking.

Rahmi Koc, with his wealth expanding to 2.9 billion USD, followed them in the Forbes list. Forbes is a privately held publishing and new media company. Its flagship publication is Forbes, a bi-weekly magazine, with a circulation of over 900,000.

TACCI Annual Gala Sponsored By EST 1923

Image Turkish American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TACCI) held its annual gala last night at the NY Athletic Club with the attendance of more than 200 people, including Turkish, American and International state dignitaries, top company executives and representatives, TACCI board members and many other guests.

During the evening The Rick Bogart Trio played famous jazz standards and provided an elegant New York ambiance. The emcee of the night was, TACCI board member and attorney Mr. Mark Meirowitz who also shared the stage with TACCI President Celal Secilmis during the awards ceremony. Several important people for TACCI were presented award plaques including Ertugrul Apakan,  Mehmet Samsar, Cenk Uygur, Sevil Özisik, Mustafa Merc, Ali Cinar, Dr. Kayhan Civelek, Engin Tuncer,  Ihsan Baytan of THY New York and Joseph F. Reagan. All guests who received the awards gave a speech about the evening and they praised TACCI members for their efforts in helping and guiding the companies to increase and foster bilateral trade and investment opportunities between U.S. and Turkey.

Tom Mazza Partners With Transportation Booking Site - Limousine, Charter & Tour

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Tom Mazza (L) recently became a partner in Limocart.com, led by co-founders Mesut Darendeli and Emin Kahyaoglu. (Photo by Ron Rennells)
LAS VEGAS — Chauffeured transportation dealmaker Tom Mazza cut an investment deal of his own recently, taking a 10% ownership stake in LIMOCART, an upstart online travel venture that he compares favorably to Expedia and Amazon. Mazza disclosed the deal last week on the trade show floor of the 2011 International LCT Show where LIMOCART executives staffed a vendor booth during the three-day Show. Mazza holds the titles of vice president and partner of Limocart.com, and plans to devote about 10 hours per week to the venture.

Comodo's CEO, Melih Abdulhayoglu named as Entrepreneur of the Year

Image Comodo, (www.comodo.com) a leading Internet security organization, announced today that its CEO, Melih Abdulhayoglu, has been named "Entrepreneur of the Year" at an awards gala held last night at the RSA Conference in San Francisco. He was chosen by an audience of security industry leaders and peers for his innovative technology in the area of Internet security.

More than 50 judges from a broad spectrum of industry voices from around the world participated and their average scores determined the 2011 Global Excellence Awards Finalists and Winners. Winners were announced during the awards dinner and presentation on February 16, 2011 in San Francisco attended by the finalists and judges. Award winners were selected from a group of finalists based on their dedicated use of innovative technologies to provide solutions for their customers' needs.

Philanthropic Turkish Businessman Dies in South Africa

ImageTurkish businessman Ömer Erol (47), who devoted his life to charitable activities, passed away Sunday night in South Africa from a heart attack. Erol was diabetic. Erol moved to Johannesburg in 2006 and operated a textile store there. Speaking to Today’s Zaman on Monday, Ömer Erol’s close friend Orhan Şeker said they moved together to the African country. “We were friends for 25 years. He was very enthusiastic about charities. Wherever he saw any charitable activity, Erol was the first to sign up,” Şeker said.

Global Investment House Fund Buys 80% of Turkey's Bicakcilar

ImageGlobal Capital Management Ltd., a buyout unit of Global Investment House of Kuwait, acquired 80 percent of Turkey’s Bicakcilar Tibbi Cihazlar AS, a medical equipment manufacturer, Global said.

Bicakcilar, based in Istanbul, is the second-biggest maker of catheters in Europe and exports its products to more than 70 countries, Global Investment House, a Kuwaiti investment company, said in an e-mailed statement today. Financial details of the agreement weren’t provided.

Turkey’s growing health-care industry has attracted investors including Abraaj Capital Ltd., the Middle East’s biggest private-equity firm, which bought 54 percent of hospital operator Acibadem Saglik Hizmetleri & Ticaret AS for about $606 million in 2007 and 2008. Carlyle Group, the world’s No. 2 private-equity firm, bought 40 percent of hospital operator Medical Park Saglik Grubu AS for an undisclosed price in 2009.

Universal Saglik Yatirimlari Holding AS, a Turkish chain of 18 hospitals, will complete the sale of a stake of unspecified size within a month, according to Daruma Corporate Finance, which is advising on the transaction.Source: Bloomberg

THY to Begin Flights to Houston, Miami, Boston and Detroit

ImageDirector General of Turkey's national air carrier Turkish Airlines, or THY, Temel Kotil said Wednesday that following flights to Los Angeles in March, 2011, they would begin flights to US cities of Houston, Miami, Boston and Detroit either in 2012 or in 2013.
 
In an exclusive interview with the Anatolia news agency, Kotil said that THY's flights to Washington, D.C., which began last November, were very important for them.

It is not only the Turks who arrive in Washington, D.C.. People from the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia come to Washington, D.C. by THY. We carry a high number of passengers from Washington, D.C. to Africa. We are pleased with the occupancy rates for flights from Washington, D.C., Kotil said.

A Bank Born Out of Turkish-Greek Love: Fort Lee Federal Savings Bank

ImageFort Lee Federal Savings Bank's second office is opening in Clifton, New Jersey. Operating in Fort Lee, New Jersey for the past ten years, the Fort Lee Federal Savings Bank will have the official opening of its three story building on Main Avenue, Clifton within the following days. The Bank is also preparing to transfer its first office to a new building they bought in Fort Lee. Yasemin Koyunoglu, the only Turk owning a bank in the US, and her husband Dr. Haralambos (Bob) S. Kostakopoulos opened the doors of their new center to the Turk Avenue. Decorating their new office with nearly sixty marbling art pieces selected from the collection of marbling artist Kubilay Dincer of Turkey, the Kostakopoulos couple designed their floors with Turkish rugs. Having started their endeavor with a moderate size bank in Fort Lee ten years ago, Kostakopoulos couple says that they owe their strength in the face of economic crisis and mortgage crises to a planned and conscious strategy. The co-president of the Fort Lee Federal Savings Bank Yasemin Koyunoglu Kostakopoulos says, "What is important is not the number of banks; how much business you do. We took our steps slowly but sustainably."

Shopify Secured $7 Million from Angel Investors

ImageShopify, the online-retail platform bringing advanced commerce functionality to businesses of all sizes, announced it has secured $7 million in Series A funding from Bessemer Venture Partners, FirstMark Capital and Felicis Ventures. Shopify, which features a groundbreaking “app store” to help run your shop, will use the proceeds to invest in the growth of the company, including product development and international expansion. Shopify already serves customers in over 60 countries. The company also plans to invest in its technology, infrastructure and developer tools. Shopify is committed to attracting the best app developers to its platform, giving them access to thousands of retailers.
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