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Decadeslong inheritance dispute rages in Türkiye’s wealthy Sabanci family

Decadeslong inheritance dispute rages in Türkiye's wealthy Sabanci family Wedding picture of Sabanci Family at Ciragan Palace Kempinski in Istanbul, Türkiye on June 28, 2022 (Photo from Instagram)
By Newsroom
Jul 8, 2024 10:20 PM

Sevgi Sabanci, the daughter of Ihsan Sabanci from an unofficial relationship, has been in a legal struggle for 22 years to claim her rightful share of the family inheritance. Speaking to Gunaydin Newspaper, Sabanci shared details of her long and challenging journey.

The Sabanci family is one of Türkiye’s wealthiest and most influential families, known for their extensive business empire spanning various industries, including banking, energy, retail, and manufacturing. Founded by Haci Omer Sabanci, the Sabanci Group has grown into a conglomerate with significant domestic and international operations. Key assets include Akbank, one of Türkiye’s largest banks, and Sabanci Holding, which oversees numerous subsidiaries and joint ventures. The family’s wealth and contributions have made them prominent figures in Turkish society and beyond, with a legacy of philanthropy and business leadership.

Sabanci, along with her two siblings, filed a lawsuit against the Sabanci family, alleging that their inheritance rights were unjustly taken through the misuse of power of attorney. She expressed her disappointment with the family’s handling of the issue, stating that despite her efforts to resolve the matter peacefully, no agreement was reached.

“Our rights were taken away from us through power of attorney. I have been fighting this legal battle for 22 years. I have extended the olive branch to the family many times, but it was not accepted. The three of us siblings filed a lawsuit. I want to claim what is rightfully mine without hurting anyone,” Sabanci said.

Sabanci’s father, Ihsan, was excluded from his father’s will due to his relationship with Sevgi’s mother. Despite the family’s significant wealth, the dispute over the inheritance has persisted. Sabanci revealed that her sister, Sevilay, managed to secure her share of Atli Kosk through legal means and has since put it up for sale. Sabanci herself is currently undergoing a similar process and plans to sell her share once she secures it.

The inheritance battle also involves claims to shares in various Sabanci Group companies, including Akbank. Sabanci highlighted the substantial amount owed to her, which has accrued significant interest over the years. She expressed her intent to avoid causing any harm to Akbank by placing restrictions on the bank during the legal proceedings.

“My father was forced to relinquish his rights, and my grandfather excluded him from the inheritance because of his relationship with my mother. This injustice extended to my siblings and me,” Sabanci said. She emphasized the hardship her family has faced due to being excluded from the inheritance, stating that even her brother Guler, who now heads Sabanci Holding, did not receive his fair share.

Despite the ongoing legal battle, Sabanci remains determined to secure her inheritance. She plans to establish a foundation in her father’s name to combat obesity, an issue that affected his health. “I will dedicate a significant portion of the inheritance to this cause and leave the rest to my two children,” she said, expressing confidence in winning the case and restoring justice for her family.

Last Updated:  Jul 9, 2024 12:18 PM