By Ergulen Toprak
The founder and CEO of Chobani Yogurt Hamdi Ulukaya is going to visit Pope Francis today in the Vatican. Abdullah Demirbas, a Kurdish politician who met the Pope last year, also will join Ulukaya. Both Ulukaya and Demirbas visited the Community of Sant’egidio, a community part of the Vatican, before the visit.
Chobani is one of the most successful American companies. Founder and CEO Ulukaya, a northern Kurdish businessman who lives in New York, visited the Vatican on Tuesday with Abdullah Demirbas, the former mayor of the city of Sur in Diyarbakir where Armenian and Syriac Christians live within the Kurdish Muslims.
Ulukaya and Demirbas met the board of the Community of Sant’egidio before the visit with the Pope according to Demirbas’ posts on Facebook. “I and Hamdi Ulukaya just visited the Vatican. We have a meeting with the Pope tomorrow,” Demirbas said on his personal page.
Abdullah Demirbas visited the Pope last year at the Vatican, and also Demirbas was one of the politicians the Pope invited when he visited Turkey a few months ago.
Demirbas has built a good relationship with the Vatican and now is organizing a meeting with the Pope and Ulukaya, who was rewarded “The Businessman of the Year” in 2012 by Forbes magazine. According to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Ulukaya has a net worth of $1,9 billion.
Ulukaya founded Chobani in 2005 and started making Greek-style yogurt in 2007, in Upstate New York. After his big success, Ulukaya was invited to the White Housed and called a member of the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE).
Shepherd’s Gift Foundation of Chobani also donated $2 million for the Kurdish refugees who have fled from the city of Kobani, located in the northern Syria, after the Islamic State attacked the city.