Prominent Turkish businessman İshak Alaton dies at 89

issIshak Alaton, the founder and honorary chairman of Alarko Holding, died late on Sept. 11 of heart failure. He was 89.

Alaton was discharged from the hospital where he had been receiving treatment on Sept. 9, company officials said.

Born on 2 September 1927 in Istanbul, Alarko Holding Honorary Chairman İshak Alaton attended Şişli Terakki High School until 1942. After graduating from the French Saint Michel High School in 1946, İshak Alaton went to Sweden in 1951 and started his career as a welding worker at the Motala Locomotive Factory.

He attended night courses during his one-year employment as welding worker to learn technical drawing and worked as a draftsman for two years at the same factory.

İshak Alaton returned to Turkey in early 1954. In the same year, he founded Alarko as an ordinary partnership in a small office of Vefai Han in Karaköy, laying the foundations of Alarko Holding together with Dr. Üzeyir Garih. Having only two staff members, namely Üzeyir Garih and İshak Alaton, Alarko Holding took its first step into the Turkish industry with central heating services in 1954.

İshak Alaton served as the Chairman of Alarko Holding A.Ş. from 1973, when Alarko became a public-held holding company, to 15 May 2015, when he handed over his duty as Chairman to Board Member İzzet Garih, son of deceased Dr. Üzeyir Garih with whom he had started the company, and became the Honorary Chairman of Alarko Holding.

Ishak Alaton is one of the founders of the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) and Open Society Foundation.

He also served as Honorary Consul General of South Africa in Istanbul in 1998-2012 and was awarded the Order of the North Star, First Class, by Sweden and the Order of Civil Merit by Spain.