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BUSINESSMAN SADIK AHMET REFERRED TO AS “BARON” IN GREEK PRESS






Businessman Levent Sadýk Ahmet of Western Thrace has been featured in the Greek daily Ethnos.Levent Sadýk Ahmet, son of late Dr. Sadýk Ahmet, former leader of Western Thrace Turks, founder of the Friendship and Equality Party (DEP) and former independent MP for Rodopi has been drawing the attention of the Greek public with his latest international trade ventures.The article penned by Christos Telidis was featured on the cover page of the Ethnos, under the title “Son of Minority MP Becomes Baron of Greek Cotton”.The story, which was published by the Ethnos on Sunday, February 21st featured the following claims:
“Levent Sadýk Ahmet, son of the late Sadýk Ahmet, founder of the minority DEP and Muslim MP of the minority who was killed in a car crash in 1995, has in recent years become the baron of Greek cotton, which as of 2014 was the highest value export good of the country at EUR 308 million.“Running many enterprises through his Istanbul based firm DCT Trading, Levent Sadýk Ahmet is the largest player in Greek Cotton. According to the Interdisciplinary and Inter-professional Board for Cotton President Nikos Skopianos, Levent Sadýk Ahmet buys between 50 and 70 per cent of Greece’s entire production every year to sell abroad, mainly to Turkey.“Levent Sadýk Ahmet has claimed, during a visit of Turkish entrepreneurs in this field to Thrace last October, that his firm brought up all the cotton output of Thrace and more than 50 per cent of the cotton output of other regions of Greece last season. Levent Sadýk Ahmet, who wants to export the products of the minority and to establish a tobacco processing unit in Thrace has recently entered the Eastern style tobacco market.
“GIANT COMPANY”“DCT Trading, which is one of the largest cotton distribution firms in Turkey supplies reek cotton to 32 firms in the neighbouring country, which is the fourth largest producer of garments in the world and the first in Europe.“In Greece, on the contrary, cotton processing industry has died away years ago. As a result of the decline of our weaving industry, Greek cotton, which represents 8 per cent of agricultural output, gets no domestic value added.
“Levent Sadýk Ahmet appears to be a serious, educated, cosmopolitan and modern entrepreneur who acts internationally in Istanbul, New York, Tokyo and Brasilia. Levent Sadýk Ahmet is also a member of Turkey’s foremost entrepreneurship organisations and international cotton bodies.“Although he is a workaholic, Levent Sadýk Ahmet enjoys life at top summer and winter locations when he gets the chance, uses a private plane and keeps his private life away from the press. According to Achilles Liutas of the Union of Agriculture Cooperatives of Trikala, Levent Sadýk Ahmet and his employees pay ‘using daily cashable cheques’ in times of great crisis, thanks to their guaranteed capital. Of Ahmet, Liutas says ‘He is a polite, cooperative and dependable entrepreneur. He pays with a daily cashable cheque and has never caused difficulty for anyone. He is a big player in the Greek market, he buys a lot of cotton.’“However, this cosmopolitan Turkish entrepreneur and as he himself puts it ‘citizen of the seas’ is one of the important names of the minority in Thrace behind the businessman’s facade. Bearing the important legacy of his father, Levent Sadýk Ahmet says he continues the ideas of DEB, which was founded by his father and won an important amount of the vote in Xanthi and Rodopi in the 2014 EU Parliament elections – 0.71 per cent of the national vote.
“Having married a Muslim Thracian woman and father of two sons, Levent Sadýk Ahmet resides in Istanbul as well as the Filira village of Komotini. “His wife, mother and sister do not wear the veil in public. Levent Sadýk Ahmet also has close relations with the family of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoðan. In May 2011, Erdoðan’s wife Emine Erdoðan had come to village of Filira to attend the circumcision ceremony of Levent Sadýk’s son.“Levent Sadýk Ahmet has recently been in the public attention due to a strange crime committed at the offices of the DEP outside Komotini by unknown perpetrators on December 7th-8th. The perpetrators had broken into the offices and stolen the car which had belonged to the late Sadýk Ahmet, which had been placed on display there. The Sadýk family and minority circles claim that the traffic accident in 1995 was a secretly planned act of sabotage by unknown persons. However, the said accident had occurred when the MP’s car collided with a tractor being driven by a 62 year old farmer on the Xanthi-Komotini highway. Since then the government of Turkey has tried to make a hero out of Sadýk Ahmet and to turn him into a symbol not just for Thrace, but also for Turkey. The late MP’s family had received significant financial support in Istanbul and have been kept on the agenda by the Turkish government.“Following the latest incident at DEB offices, Levent Sadýk Ahmet cut off his schedule to land at Chrisupoli Airport in his private plane and to travel to Komotimi. In a message to Greek Prime Minister Ahmet had said that the breaking and entering and the burglary had hurt them ‘deeply’.“Levent Sadýk had said ‘I trust in the sensitivity of the Prime Minister regarding the matter, because I know that in every speech he condemns such fascist undertakings’ and emphasised his entrepreneurial activities in Greece. He said ‘With the investments I carry out here, I contribute to the Greek economy as an entrepreneur and firm owner. We are proud of this. We want to invest here. If some people do not like this, then Greece cannot progress. This is no way to protect Western Thrace or Greece. Greece may only be protected with investment and respect for rights, freedoms and the law being placed under guarantees.’
“SIGNIFICANT FACTOR”It is a significant development that Levent Sadýk Ahmet, son of a doctor from Komotini, has become an important economic factor and important entrepreneur in Turkey after suddenly joining Turkey’s Foreign Economic Relations Executive Board, the General Directorate of Agricultural Enterprises and the Turkish-Greek Business Council.“At an event held in his honour in Bursa at the end of November, Levent Sadýk has spoken about his plans for investment in Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia, as well as in Turkey. Qualifying his company as an international entity, Levent Sadýk has said that most of his employees are from Western Thrace, most of whom have emigrated to Turkey. Stating that in as volatile a market as cotton, he needs to follow his business 24 hours a day, Sadýk said that he had to continue working when he hurt his leg last autumn and had to travel to the USA in crutches. Calling on other Turkish entrepreneurs to invest in Thrace, Levent Sadýk urged them to take advantage of ‘this period when the economic crisis in Greece is presenting opportunities.’
“THE DIFFICULT PATH”“Levent Sadýk has said that his motto is “I choose the difficult path” and added that despite it would have been easy for him to engage in politics and stay in Western Thrace, he had chosen the difficult path of trade in order to be personally more happy and ‘be of more benefit to the world’.”
HABER: ÖZCAN ALÝOSMAN
ulkugazetesi@yahoo.com.tr
ozcanaliosman@yahoo.gr