The Koç University Suna & İnan Kıraç Research Centre for Mediterranean Civilizations (AKMED) was founded on 18 May 1996 as the Suna & İnan Kıraç Research Institute on Mediterranean Civilizations (AKMED) by the Vehbi Koç Foundation.
The Centre is located in a complex of buildings and an old church in Kaleiçi of Antalya, owned by the Suna and İnan Kıraç family and restored by Architect Sinan Genim meticulously between the dates 1993 to 1995. In 1999 another old house under protection was restored and became operational. In 2014 a house adjoining the main building was restored and now serves as AKMED library.
Since 1996 AKMED hasbeen functioning as a center of science, culture and research implementing hundreds of projects, preparing publications focusing on the Mediterranean and offering grants and scholarships. In 2016 the center merged with Koç University to continue to serve as the Koç University Suna & İnan Kıraç Research Centre for Mediterranean Civilizations.
Born in Ankara in 1941, Suna Kıraç firstly studied at the Girls’ College in Arnavutköy andthen studied banking and financing at Boğaziçi University. She worked actively at the Koç Holding from 1961, when she started to work with her father Vehbi Koç. In 2010 she was retired as the Vice President of the Board of Directors.
In parallel with her active working life, she also pioneered in founding the Koç Private High School and Koç University. Furthermore, she played a crucial role in the establishment of Foundation of Educational Volunteers of Turkey (TEGV) , Suna & İnan Kıraç Research Institute on Mediterranean Civilizations (AKMED), Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation, Pera Museum, Neurodegeneration Research Laboratory at Boğaziçi University (NDAL) and Istanbul Research Institute.
As a result of her significant contributions to the fields of education, culture, arts and health, Suna Kıraç has been awarded several medals including the Turkish State Medal of Distinguished Service, General Directorate of Pious Foundations Honorary Award for Foundation Friends, Boğaziçi University Honorary Doctorate, London School of Business Honorary Fellowship, and Galatasaray Educational Foundation Honorary Medal.
By being one of the founders of TEGV, Suna Kıraç continues to serve as honorary president of the Board of Directors.
İnan Kıraç was born in Eskişehir in 1937. During his career at the Koç Group where he served at managerial positions for thirty-five years, he was elected as the President of the Executive Board in 1994. He was retired in 1998 and founded the Kıraça Group of Companies together with his close colleagues.
İnan Kıraç played a crucial role, with his wife, in the establishment and realization of TEGV, AKMED, Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation, Pera Museum, NDAL and Istanbul Research Institute. He was awarded honorary doctorates by Galatasaray University and Süleyman Demirel University.
As one of the founders of TEGV, Mr. Kıraç established the Suna and İnan Kıraç Education Park in Antalya in 2001 and the Ali Numan Kıraç Activity Centre in Eskişehir in 2006. His other works of public service include the Semiha Kıraç Primary School and the Osmangazi University Faculty of Agriculture Museum and Library.
Mr. Kıraç is currently the president of the Galatasaray Educational Foundation, Vice President of the Suna & İnan Kıraç Foundation, member of the Solidarity Council of Turkish Educational Foundations (TEVDAK), President of Alliance Galatasaray Paris, Divan Member of Galatasaray Sports Club, Trustee of TEGV, member of the Coşkunöz Educational Foundation and Trustee of Darülaceze Foundation.
Kayhan Dörtlük (Founding Director)
Born in Antakya in 1945, Kayhan Dörtlük studied classical archaeology at Ankara University Faculty of Languages-History and Geography and graduated in 1967. His career at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism moved him to various positions as inspector, counsellor, and museum director, both at the capital and in various provinces. After serving for seventeen years as the director of the Antalya Archaeological Museum, he was retired.
In 1995 he was called upon to undertake the position of founding director at the Suna & İnan Kıraç Kaleiçi Museum and Research Institute on Mediterranean Civilizations. In addition to his published articles and books, he conducted numerous rescue excavations, edited many scholarly books, and curated national and international exhibitions. During his service, Mr. Dörtlük has received many awards in arts and culture, both at home and abroad.