Raif Dinçkök was a pioneering entrepreneur and one of Turkey’s foremost visionary industrialists in the period following World War II, during the early development of the private sector in Turkey.
The number of private sector industrial facilities was increasing rapidly, and in 1952 at the age of 40, Raif Dinçkök founded his first company, Aksu Yarn and Weaving Factory. During this period Mr. Dinçkök was also one of the elected members of the Istanbul Chamber of Industry which held its first assembly on 30 May 1952. In subsequent years he also went on to found other industrial establishments with his sons and professional staff including Ariş, Dinarsu, Aksa, Akal, Ak-Kim, Ak-Tops and Akenerji.
One of the great industrialists of our time in Turkey, Raif Dinçkök originated from one of the well known and significant families of Doyran (Macedonia). He was born in 1912 in Salonika (Thessalonica) while his parents were migrating to Turkey during the Balkan War. The family settled in Izmir taking the surname Doyran, but Raif’s father Ali Bey, later moved to Istanbul with his wife and children, taking the surname Dinçkök in 1934. The Dinçkök family business was commerce, involved in contracting work and trade in Istanbul, and Raif was educated at the Istanbul Commercial High School, from which he graduated in 1934.
Dealing in trade and construction contracting work in Ankara from 1934, Raif Dinçkök then came to Istanbul in 1943 and entered the yarn and fabric trade in Sultanhamam,İstanbul's commercial and trade district. Raif Dinçkök was respected among his peers for his honest, serious and calm personality and was often referred to as an arbiter in occasional disputes between businessmen.
He was extremely disciplined, earnest and hardworking in his daily life, and is remembered by his business colleagues and close friends as a calm and unpretentious person commanding respect based on his honesty and modesty. He had a management style whereby he made people love what they did. He was a manager with deep insight who knew how to learn from others' ideas very well and who valued team-work highly. He was an excellent listener during meetings, chose his words most carefully and took the most efficient and effective decisions by listening to what was said.
He had an extraordinary ability for establishing dialogue and had exemplary leadership qualities. Raif Dinçkök served on the Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ICI) Board of Directors from early on and was Chairman of the Board between 1956-1960. From the earliest period of ISO until his decease “he served as the doyen of the Istanbul Chamber of Industry”.
In addition to his membership of professional bodies, he was a member of numerous social organisations, foundations and associations, including serving for 15 years on the board of the Istanbul Grand Club. He was an enthusiastic fan of Fenerbahçe Sports Club for which he served as a member of the Board of Directors and Supreme Council with a strong supporter’s spirit.
Raif Dinckok passed away on 25 February 1994 and was posthumously awarded the “State Meritorious Service Medal” through the Council of Ministers’ decree dated 17 December 1999 in recognition of “his significant contributions to the enhancement of State and National interests”
In the memory of his colleagues and close friends Raif Dinçkök is remembered not only as a person who provided commendable services for the Istanbul Chamber of Industry but also as a person who devoted his life to the development of industry in the Turkish private sector, who braved the hardships and responsibilities incumbent upon him by virtue of his capacity as an industrialist with great self sacrifice and perseverance, setting an example in the business world.