İshak Alaton

İş Adamı

Ölüm
11 Eylül, 2016
Eğitim
Saint Mchel

Businessman (b. 1927, Istanbul - d. 11 September 2016, Istanbul). Father and business partner of Leyla Alaton and Vedat Alaton. He received education at Şişli Terakki and Saint Michel until the grade 8. Because of poverty and problems, he could not continue studying after graduating from high school. After the World War II ended in 1945, he graduated from French College with great difficulty. At the age of seventeen, he started working for a foreign representation company with a wage of 80 Turkish liras a month. To secure his families sustentation, he worked at Mehmet Kavala Company as a courier.

Three years later (1948), he graduated Ankara Reserve Officers School first, and then he completed his military service at Polatlı Artillery School with a translator lieutenant rank. He worked for a company importing Volvo trucks from Sweden with a wage of 150 Turkish liras as a typewriter correspondence officer. He began to understand that his knowledge was not enough to be successful in his career, and correcting his deficiencies abroad had become his obsession. While working for this company, he met the Swedish Consulate, and this changed his life.

The Swedish Consul General that he met was very helpful to him. In March 1951, he worked for Swedish Motala Verkstad factory as a welder, and then he worked at Stockholm Ventilator factory as a technical artist. With limited technical knowledge, his real earning was the friendships he made in Sweden. Thanks to the lifelong relationships with the Social Democratic Party Youth Brach members, he tried to understand the fine-tuned relationships between liberal and productive economics and social democracy. He watched with excitement and enviably that a country which starved at the beginning of the previous century and of which a quarter of population migrated to America, was among the richest countries in the world thanks to the smart Social Democratic government after the mid-century.  These years were the period when Ishak Alaton's worldview took its shape and he was introduced to the social democracy. He admired Sweden where the respect for human rights and income distribution were much better than other countries in the world.

After he returned from Sweden to Turkey in January 1954, he aimed to be engaged in heating and air conditioning installation business. He thought that his performance was much faster with someone having technical knowledge and a diploma. One of their common friends, a young engineer working at Tokar Company, the agent of Carrier, introduced him to Uzeyir Garih. He made his proposal. He thought on this offer and accepted it. He established Alarko Collective Unlimited Liability Company with a share capital of TRY 20,000 in a single room in Vefai Han at Bankalar Street, going into partnership with Uzeyir Garih under equal conditions. He laid the foundation of Alarko Holding with 6,000 employees, which celebrated its 46th anniversary in 2000.

When we look back, Ishak Alaton reminds us a brilliant scene featuring only the happy times with blurred hard times. They are very different than each other. Thanks to this difference, the strengths of one of them balanced the weaknesses of the other. They created the thousands and millions over the time together.

They always tried to think differently. After producing multiple solutions to one problem by taking a different approach, they united on the most logical way. They prioritized the mutual understanding and respect. They never experienced even a loud argument. Finally, they succeeded to establish a big family where over 7,000 employees work under a single roof.

Although their characters were very different, their beliefs and life philosophy were based on completely the same principles. They set the possession of financial facilities as a necessary target, but an insufficient one. Instead of being ranked among the largest and richest companies in Turkey, they preferred to be among the top three most prestigious and serious ones.

As Alarko grew, they did not ignore the social responsibilities though.  They endeavored to be useful to the society within the bounds of possibility with the aim of being interested in the country problems and producing solutions in respect thereof.

As long as he saw the opportunities missed by his country poorly managed by the wrong people throughout the last half-century, he sometimes abandoned himself to despair.  However, he never stopped struggling. He expressed his thoughts and point of views in the media and conferences whenever he found the chance to do so. He concluded hat overcoming the biases of people was the most difficult thing in the world, even harder than waking up the dead.

His biggest grief was to lose his close friend Uzeyir Garih during the successful years. Unfortunately, he lost his dear partner and companion Uzeyir Garih to a terrible murder on August 25, 2001.

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