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Bolak, (Ahmet) Aydın

Bolak, (Ahmet) Aydın (b. August 13, 1925, Balıkesir - d. July 27, 2004, Istanbul), politician and businessman who served as deputy chair of the Vehbi Koç Foundation (VKV) between 1969 and 2002.

After graduating from Istanbul University Faculty of Law in 1947, he entered the Ministry of Interior, serving as a ministerial assistant in Balıkesir and working as district governor in various districts including Kadirli throughout his time there. He later left to set up his own legal practice. He was one of the founders of the Liberty Party (Hürriyet Partisi) in 1955; following the dissolution of the party in 1958, he joined the Republican People’s Party (Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi, CHP). He held a seat in the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) as the CHP representative for Balıkesir from 1961 to 1965 and played an important role in the introduction and enactment of Law No. 903, which changed the Civil Code to allow foundations to be re-established. He was involved in preparing the law as well as in its presentation to the TGNA and subsequent passage into law.

After 1965, Bolak left politics, moving into industry and trade. He was a founder, partner and manager of a wide range of companies, especially in the petroleum, tourism, shipbuilding, vegetable oils and nutrition industries. He served as the chair of the Türk Petrol Holding (Turkish Petroleum Holding) Board of Directors for a long time. Together with Vehbi Koç, he spearheaded the founding of the Turkish Education Foundation (TEV) and was chair of the foundation’s board of directors between 1993 and 2001. As well as contributing to the foundation of the TEF and VKV, he also helped establish and manage other foundations, such as the Turkish Petroleum Foundation, TÜSEV, TEMA, the Istanbul Traffic Foundation, the Turkish Heart Foundation, and the Foundation for Turkish Culture.

Bolak received honorary doctorates from Marmara University (1992) and Selçuk University (1995) and talks he delivered on TRT television were compiled into several books: Söylediklerim ve Yazdıklarım (1987; My Talks and Writings), Sohbetler (1994; Conversations), Hayatın İçinden (1996; Life: The Innerworkings), Hayatın Öğrettikleri (1998; What Life Teaches Us), Yüz Yılın Yetmişbeşi (2000; Seventy-Five Years Out of a Hundred).

Abadan Unat, Nermin

Political scientist who received the Vehbi Koç Award for education in 2012.