Murat Ülker's family roots go back to Alushta, Crimea. There, his family was known as the "Devletler" family. His grandfather, Hacı İslam Efendi, was a Teacher who graduated from the Fatih Madrasa. Hacı İslam Efendi married a fellow immigrant from Crimea in Thrace. During his Service in Saray, Tekirdağ, he moved to Istanbul because of the Balkan War and then returned to their homeland in Crimea. His Father, Sabri Ülker, was born in Korbekul a village in Alushta, in 1920. The family migrated to Istanbul as a result of the oppression of Muslims following the Bolshevik Revolution The entrepreneurial spirit of his Father, Sabri, and his uncle, Asım, created the confectionery Business in the 1940s. Later on, in 1944, they named the biscuit they produced Ülker, a name that later became part of Yıldız Holding. Meanwhile, the previous family name Berksan was changed in 1954 in order to prevent ambiguity since they had made a reputation in Business circles with the Ülker brand name.
His sister, Ahsen, was born in 1950. She is married to Ülker executive Orhan Özokur and has three children named Ali, Ömer, and Ahmet.
His brother Ali was born in 1954, but he died in a home accident when he was only nine years old. Murat Ülker thus succeeded his Father as the family's sole male heir.
Murat Ülker was born in 1959 in Istanbul, Turkey.
Ülker is an accomplished baker and chocolatier; he began his professional career in 1982 and received further training at the American Institute of Baking (AIB) and Zentralfachschule der Deutschen Süßwarenwirtschaft (ZDS). He also worked as an intern at the Continental Baking Company in the US.
Ülker joined Yıldız Holding as a control coordinator in 1984. Over the following years, he served as assistant general manager for enterprises, and later, as general manager. In 2000, Ülker became the CEO of Yıldız Holding, and he has served as chairman since 2008. Under Ülker’s chairmanship, Yıldız Holding made several acquisitions and in 2016 it brought together United Biscuits, Ulker, Godiva Chocolatier and DeMet's Candy Company to form a new global Business, pladis.
Ülker played an active role in the establishment of the Ülkerspor Basketball Club in 1993, a club that fostered numerous young talented players and won the league championship four times, the Presidential Cup six times, and the Turkish Cup three times. Ülkerspor also reached the quarter finals of the FIBA European Champions Cup as well as the FIBA Korać Cup.
In 2006, the Ülker corporation decided to abolish the Ülkerspor team, converting it into the Alpella club, and to instead sponsor the Turkish club Fenerbahçe. Ülker purchased the royalty rights of the Fenerbahçe Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium for ten years, sponsoring Fenerbahçe's soccer and basketball teams.
In October 2017, Ülker was reported to be the front Runner to buy Premier League football club Newcastle United. However, a spokesperson from Yildiz Holding, whose chairman is Murat Ülker, told BBC Sport: "The company is not purchasing Newcastle and no discussions about the team have taken place."
According to Euromonitor International, pladis is currently number 3 in biscuits and number 7 in chocolate globally. Ülker is the company’s chairman.