Refugees US–Kurdish Relations

Chobani’s Founder Donates 700 Million to Kurdish Refugees

chobani founder ulukaya donates to kurdish refugees

The founder of Chobani, Hamdi Ulukaya, has announced that he will pledge 700 million USD to help Kurdish refugees, as well as refugees from all around the world, through a new foundation called Tent.

In the announcement, Ulukaya said that he will sign the Giving Pledge, a pledge that was started by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet to spur philanthropy in billionaires and millionaires. Ulukaya has dedicated his pledge to his mother, and has committed the majority of his personal wealth, “to help refugees and help bring an end to this humanitarian crisis.”

Turkish by Nationality, Kurdish by Ethnicity

Turkish by nationality, Kurdish by ethnicity, Ulukaya says that he credits his success to his early years.

I grew up in a Kurdish dairy-farming family in Eastern Turkey. The hardworking, communal culture shaped me as a person.

The founder of Chobani said that he had always planned on donating his wealth to charity, but when the self-declared Islamic State began terrorizing Kurdish villages in 2014, Ulukaya was moved to action.

Donating to Help Kurdish Refugees

In 2014, Ulukaya and Chobani gave 2 million USD to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). This money was pledged to help refugees in Turkey and Iraq.

The Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq has opened its borders to more than 2 million refugees from the conflict in Syria. More than 500,000 more refugees are expected as the self-declared Islamic State, or ISIS, advances on Iraqi cities and villages.

Ulukaya moved to the United States in 1994. He studied English in New York, and in 2005, founded Chobani. Today, Chobani has grown to be one of the biggest American companies, through its main product – Greek-style yogurt — which it started producing in 2007.

[Read more at MyReports]


  • People like Hamdi should be a good example to the many millionaires across Kurdistan and abroad who have the power to help people in need. In the end we all will die and only our good deeds will be great reminders of our characters. God bless you Mr. Hamdi and keep up the good work.

  • Thank you!

    I am lactose intolerant, therefore I eat yogurt made with almond milk. Maybe you could consider making that one of your variations so I could buy from you. ( Soybeans have an effect on hormones, rice is all carb, and coconut usually retains its coconut flavor.The majority of the world is lactose intolerant.)

  • I don’t know to whom you are giving the money but I sure hope it is not to the corrupt, decadent, lying, hateful, 2 faced, UN. The money would be spent on white wine more than helping Kurds and Yazidis and Christians etc.

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