Born in 1958 in Malatya, Ahmet Çalık began business life by establishing Ortadoğu Tekstil Ticaret ve Sanayi A.Ş in 1981. Mister Çalık, born into a textile industrialist family active in the sector since the 1930s, made the first ever large-scale industrial investment of Eastern Anatolia by setting up Gap Güneydoğu Tekstil San. ve Tic. A.Ş. in Malatya. In the same period, in line with his international vision and investment goals, he invested in Turkmenistan, a Central Asian country that had recently gained its independence. Leveraging on his trade experience accumulated in Turkey since 1992, he went global investing in significant projects in energy, telecommunications, finance, construction, textile and mining sectors in numerous countries. Çalık Holding was founded in 1997 to unite all Group companies under one roof. In 1992, he became one of the business leaders bringing in the largest investment in Albania and Kosovo. Mr. Çalık was declared worthy of the Turkmenistan Order of State and presented with the Turkmenistan Mahdum Guli Award in 1997. In 1999, he received the State Medal of Distinguished Service from the Republic of Turkey and the Gayrat Medal from Turkmenistan. He was honored with the Turkmenistan Golden Age Merit in 2001, the Distinguished Service Medal by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2002, the Distinguished Service Award of the Turkish Grand National Assembly and the “Turkey in Europe - Franco Nobili’’ award in 2006. In 2012, the Chairman was declared the Honorary Council of Bursa by the Republic of Kazakhstan, and in 2014 he was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations. That same year, Ahmet Çalık was awarded Honorary Ph.D. degrees from the Matsumoto Dental University in Japan and the University of Tirana in Albania. Under his supervision as the Board Chairman, Çalık Holding Companies operate in 17 countries from Central Asia to Middle East and from Balkans to North Africa, employing 24,000 people.