Suleyman Demir


Suleyman Demir is a well-known Turkish businessman who founded Halikarnas in 1979 and successfully transformed the club into a recognizable global brand that has contributed immensely to the worldwide recognition of both Bodrum and Turkish tourism. As one of the pioneers in the Turkish tourism sector, Suleyman Demir has had a significant impact on the economic development of Bodrum and Mugla city for many years and has been one of its largest tax contributors during this time.


Suleyman graduated from Diyarbakır Maarif College in 1971 and went on to study in the Department of English Language at Marmara University, graduating in 1975. Suleyman has always had an innate interest in tourism. After completıng his studies, Suleyman gained valuable experience by operating hotels belonging to his father, successfully doubling hotel revenues in a very short period of time. He then built upon his passion through innovative business practices in the tourism sector that he so cherished. Suleyman’s big success began at the young age of 23 when he opened his first establishment in Bodrum, named Halikarnas Hotel and Club, quickly attracting global attention for Bodrum through his immediate success.


Suleyman Demir also gained a great deal of attention and admiration at international tourism fairs and gatherings due to his eye-capturing stands, exclusive and innovative advertising materials, and his outstanding taste in music and captivating entertainment. In addition, his documentaries on Bodrum and Halikarnas, directed mostly by Suleyman himself, also contributed hugely to the ongoing popularity of Bodrum. Suleyman has been the recipient of honorary awards from the Turkish Promotion Foundation (TUTAV) and many other institutions and is a founding member of the Bodrum Promotion Foundation (BOTAV). His other membership activities include the Tourism Investors Association, Turkish-Russian Amity Association, Turkish Promotion Foundation, and Bodrum Chamber of Commerce.


Over the years, Halikarnas has been the subject of a great number of articles and broadcasts by globally influential media entities such as Time, Der Spiegel, RTL and BBC, highlighting the worldwide appreciation and admiration for Halikarnas’ unique style and contributions to international tourism. Halikarnas has been regularly frequented by statesmen, princes, princesses, and renowned global stars. Among these are included figures such as Mick Jagger, Bette Midler, Dustin Hoffman, Princess Caroline, Princess Margaret, Lady Sarah Armstrong, the Rockefellers, the Rothschilds, David Koch, Valentino, Sting, Richard Branson, John Franco Ferre, Phil Collins, Michael Caine, Ahmet Ertegün, Blues Brothers, Ronald McDonald, Pamela Anderson, Kid Rock, Naomi Campbell, and countless others. In addition, numerous local celebrities from Turkey have also been guests and regulars of Halikarnas. Reviews, news, and visual materials involving Bodrum and Turkey were featured in the international press and such tremendous publicity further contributed to Suleyman’s substantial promotion of Bodrum and Turkey.


Suleyman Demir began operating Halikarnas in 1979 in Bodrum, which at the time was only known as a fishing town with no tourism facilities except for a number of small lodgings. Halikarnas rapidly gained iconic fame and pioneered the establishment of Bodrum as a worldwide vacation destination. As an entertainment center with a guest capacity of 5000 people, Halikarnas Hotel and Night Club ,with its unique location by the sea, has been regarded as having a major influence in making Bodrum a regular address for holidays by world famous individuals and celebrities. The ‘Halikarnas’ brand is synonymous with Bodrum even to this day.


Aside from his main business interests in tourism, Suleyman always strived towards assisting in the resolution of Bodrum’s vital problems out of his sincere love for the city. As a result, Suleyman successfully lobbied for the realization of essential investments for the city, such as Bodrum’s first marina, Turban Marina, the Milas-Bodrum Highway, Bodrum International Airport, and the solution of Bodrum’s water problem, as well as many other local issues.


Through strategic real estate acquisitions in the area, Suleyman has also masterminded and been directly involved in prestigious large-scale international tourism and real estate development projects in Bodrum.


Currently, as Halikarnas is entering its final stage after 38 years of operation and leaves its present location, Suleyman’s involvement in tourism investments will continue to increase through the Halikarnas brand and its new conceptual realization.