Telman Ismailov

Telman Mardanovich Ismailov (Azerbaijani: Telman Mərdan oğlu İsmayılov, Russian: Те́льман Марда́нович Исмаи́лов; born 26 October 1956) is an Azerbaijani-born businessman and entrepreneur of Mountain Jewish origin.[1] Since Azerbaijan does not allow dual citizenship, he holds Russian-Turkish citizenship. He is the chairman of the Russian AST Group of companies, which is active in many countries.[2] Until 2009, Ismailov owned the Europe's then-largest marketplace, Cherkizovsky Market, located in Moscow, Russia.

Telman Ismailov Luka M
Telman Mardanovich Ismailov

(1956-10-26) 26 October 1956 (age 66)
NationalityAzerbaijani (former), Russian, Turkish (naturalised)
Occupation(s)Businessman and entrepreneur
Known forAST Group
ChildrenSarkhan and Alekper (sons)
WebsiteAST Group Website

Early life and familyEdit

Telman Ismailov was born in Baku, USSR in 1956, to a business family from Baku. He is the tenth of 12 children.[3] Both his father's and mother's family include Muslims and Mountain Jews.[4]

Business careerEdit

In 1989, he registered the brand "AST" (initials of his two sons (Alekper, Sarkhan) and himself).[5]

After the lavish opening of a hotel resort in Antalya, Russia's prime minister Vladimir Putin was reportedly enraged that Ismailov invested so much abroad and flaunted his riches while Russia was being hit by a credit crunch.[6] In retaliation, the angry Putin ordered the closing of Cherkizovsky Market in 2009, causing 100,000 traders at the famous bazaar to lose their jobs.[citation needed]


Known for his extravagant lifestyle, Ismailov is famous for spending millions of dollars on singers like Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Tom Jones, and others. Ismailov paid Lopez $1.4 million for her to sing 10 minutes' worth of songs.[citation needed] The video of her singing "Happy Birthday" song to him is available on YouTube. Ismailov befriended plenty of other celebrities such as Sharon Stone, Richard Gere, Monica Bellucci, Paris Hilton, and numerous other performers just to appear at his lavish parties.[7]


  1. ^ На взятие Исмаилова (in Russian)
  3. ^ "Биография Тельман Исмаилов". (in Russian)
  4. ^ "Türkiye bana iyi bakıyor | GAZETE VATAN". Archived from the original on 23 January 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
  5. ^ "PR-кампания Тельмана Исмаилова". (in Russian)
  6. ^ "Oligarch pays for party that enraged Putin". The Independent. 16 July 2009. Archived from the original on 26 May 2022.
  7. ^ Echo, Liverpool (2 June 2009). "Glitz and glamour for all in Turkey". liverpoolecho.

External linksEdit