Kurdistan Kurdish businessman among Time's 100 most influential people

Kurdish businessman among Time's 100 most influential people
Chobani founder Hamdi Ulukaya poses for a portrait in the company headquarters in 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

LOS ANGELES, United States (Kurdistan24) - The Turkey-born Kurd, Hamdi Ulukaya is among the most influential people in 2017, according to the American magazine Time which publishes an annual list in the categories of pioneers, artists, leaders, titans, and icons.

Kurdish entrepreneur was praised for having "transformed a shuttered factory into a flourishing yogurt company that now employs people in places where jobs have been scarce, such as south-central Idaho and upstate New York," Time wrote. 

The US-based yogurt mogul Hamdi Ulukaya was also chosen for embodying American Dream and creating jobs for two thousand employees in his successful Chobani factory.

Many of his workers "are native-born Americans. But in a demonstrable rebuke to the hatred coming from Washington, Hamdi has also hired hundreds of refugees to work alongside them,"Time said. 

Entrepreneur Ulukaya who revolutionized yogurt consumption in the US was born in 1972 to a semi-nomadic family in Erzincan province in Turkey's Kurdish region, according to a 2013 interview with the New Yorker magazine.

With a net fortune of 1.7 billion dollars, he is the wealthiest Kurd and among the world's richest.

Known for his philanthropy, Ulukaya donated two million dollars to refugees in 2014 when hundreds of thousands fled an Islamic State assault on the town of Kobani in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava).

In 2016, the Chobani CEO gave ten percent of the company he founded in 2005 to its employees with some long-term workers receiving the stock value of up to one million dollars.