Ali Nihat Gökyiğit, the founder of Tekfen, one of Turkey’s largest companies, passed away at the age of 97. Gökyiğit, who has accomplished many successful projects throughout his business life, has also made a name for himself as the Founder and Leader of the Board of Trustees of the Turkish Erosion Effort, Afforestation and Natural Asset Conservation Foundation (TEMA).
TEMA Foundation, in its Twitter account on Ali Nihat Gökyiğit’s death, said, “We are in deep sorrow over the loss of Ali Nihat Gökyiğit, our Founding Honorary Leader and Yaprak Grandfather. Condolences to our entire country.”
Ali Nihat Gökyiğit’s funeral will be taken from Fatih Mosque tomorrow after the afternoon prayer.
Who is Ali Nihat Gökyiğit?
Nihat Gökyiğit was born on February 23, 1925 in Artvin. Gökyiğit, who was a member of one of the main dynasties of Artvin, known as Gögitoğulları, left Artvin after graduating from primary and secondary school. Gökyiğit’s father decided to send him to Robert College in Istanbul so that he could learn a foreign language.
Nihat Gökyiğit, who participated in many social and cultural activities during his 6-year education period at Robert College, wanted to be an engineer from the first day he entered the school, since both of his uncles were engineers. Planning to become a civil engineer, Gökyiğit, together with Feyyaz Berker, turned to this field from the first grade.
After graduating from Robert College, Gökyiğit decided to do his higher education at the University of Michigan in the USA, like Berker. Due to the fact that he did not receive his education with a scholarship, Gökyiğit worked in many jobs throughout his student life.
After completing his program at the University of Michigan in 1948, Gökyiğit, like Berker, wanted to stay for another year and get to know business life in the United States and worked for Gannett Fleming Corddry and Carpenter, Inc. in Pennsylvania. He started working for the company.
Gökyiğit, who applied for military service as soon as he returned to Turkey, worked as a translator and as an instructor on construction materials at the engineering school for a while near the end of his military service. After completing his military service, Gökyiğit took a mission in the American consortium called Metcalfe-Hamilton and Grove, which built military airports. Gökyiğit, who was transferred to the Ministry of Public Works upon the proposal of Esat Turgut, who is the head of the Airport Construction Chief, assumed the responsibility of inspecting the Konya Airport, which will start production here.
Gökyiğit founded Tekfen Construction in 1956 with Feyyaz Berker and Necati Akçağlılar.
Gökyiğit, who left his duty in the state in 1956, founded Tekfen Construction company with his schoolmates Feyyaz Berker and Necati Akçağlılar in the same year. Gökyiğit, who assumed the duties of the Board of Directors and Chairman of Tekfen Holding and other cluster companies, became the Founder and Honorary Leader of Tekfen Holding as of May 2015.
Gökyiğit, who led the founding of many foundations throughout his business life, also took on a mission in social responsibility activities. Gökyiğit, who served as a member of the administrative council at TUSIAD for 3 years, took a mission as a member of the DEİK administrative council for 15 years. Gökyiğit, who served as the chairman of the Turkey-CIS Business Boards and the Turkey Representative of the Black Sea Business Board for 10 years, was also elected as the Honorary Consul of Georgia and Kyrgyzstan.
Gökyiğit and Hayrettin Karaca established the TEMA Foundation in 1992.
Gökyiğit, who founded the TEMA Foundation together with Hayrettin Karaca, known as Toprak Dede, on September 11, 1992, as the Founder and Leader of the Board of Trustees of TEMA, undertook the first projects for the environment, conservation of natural assets and rural development and sponsorship of nature-friendly productions series. Gökyiğit also made valuable contributions to world peace by founding the Tekfen Philharmonic Orchestra.