Founded on 17 January 1969 by the late Vehbi Koç, the Vehbi Koç Foundation (VKV) is active in the fields of education, healthcare, culture, and arts. The Foundation aims to contribute to the rapid development of Turkey and to serve the country by setting an example for “the best” in all of its activities and via sustainable and reproducible models. As the first private Turkish trust, the Foundation runs many pioneering institutions in their respective fields including The Koç School, Koç University, American Hospital, Sadberk Hanım Museum and Arter.
The Foundation’s activities in the field of culture started with the establishment of Turkey’s first private museum, the Sadberk Hanım Museum in 1980. The Foundation further extended its activities in the field of culture with the establishment of the Vehbi Koç and Ankara Research Center (VEKAM) in 1994, the Suna-İnan Kıraç Research Institute on Mediterranean Civilizations (AKMED) in 1996, and the Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (ANAMED) in 2005. These research centers have been sustained under the aegis of Koç University. In 2007, VKV started an international contemporary art collection, which includes over 1,350 contemporary works of art produced by international artists from 1960s onwards in various media. A large number of pieces from the collection are lent each year to leading art institutions and galleries across the world. In 2008, the VKV founded TANAS in Berlin to promote artists from Turkey in an international context. TANAS functioned for five years, as had been planned at the outset, until its closure in 2013. With the aim of providing a sustainable infrastructure for producing and exhibiting contemporary art, Arter was opened in 2010. In 2011, Vehbi Koç Foundation Ford Otosan Gölcük Culture and Community Center was established by the VKV to support the cultural and artistic lives of the local people. Opened in 2019, Meşher was the latest cultural institution managed under the aegis of Vehbi Koç Foundation.
Another significant undertaking of the Foundation is the International Sevgi Gönül Byzantine Studies Symposium, which is held every three years in memory of the late Sevgi Gönül (1938–2003), who was an avid supporter of the Byzantine studies. In addition, VKV provided funding of two new galleries for Ottoman Art at the Metropolitan Museum.
VKV gives the Vehbi Koç Award once every three years in the field of culture to acknowledge and encourage individuals and organizations making outstanding contributions to the quality of life.
Vehbi Koç Foundation Institutions