March 2013 – Gurkan Bilgutay 1939-2013

This blog is a very hard one to write as it is with great sadness that I have to report the loss of my Father, Gurkan, who passed away on Monday 25 March. He left us too soon but I must be thankful that his suffering wasn’t for too long.

Many of our Korsan Friends will remember him and anyone who has read our ‘History’ page in our menus in the restaurants, or indeed has read the History page on our Korsan website, will know that everything started with my Father, the original Mr Korsan.

My Father was a man of great character and sense of duty. He was a deep thinker and always had time for everyone. I have received countless phone calls from men who served with him and under his command in the Navy all expressing their respect and admiration for him as a commander, as a man and as a friend. And countless phone calls from so many others who knew and loved him.

He was a colourful personality with a clever sense of humour, artistic talent and a great way with people. In his youth he was the saxophonist in Turkey’s first Rock’n’Roll band and in middle age, in the 1970s, he was a pioneer of tourism in Kalkan and Kas.

He was my Father, my business partner and my friend. He always kept his eye on me and I will miss him (probably more than I am prepared for). He loved Claire from the first time he met her and was the proudest of Grandfathers (Dede) to Patrick and Oliver.

The last week has been a difficult and emotional one. On Thursday in Istanbul we held a funeral service at the mosque in Fenerbahce. Friends from all the different chapters of his life where there to pay their respects and say their goodbyes. On Friday we brought him to Kalkan for a second funeral service, for the final goodbyes from his friends here in Kalkan and Kas and where we laid him to rest to be near to us.

Kalkan was part of him and he is part of Kalkan.

Thank you for all the kind words and well wishes we have received.

Korsan Ltd. is a family run business established in Kalkan in 1979. We were one of the first tourism related enterprises in Kalkan and now have over 40 years experience in the fields of tourism, catering and property development.